Company accused of violating state hazard waste laws to pay $708,627 penalty

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — A settlement has been reached regarding allegations from the Hawaii Department of Health that energy company IES Downstream, LLC violated the state’s hazardous waste laws.

According to the Hawaii Department of Health, the hazardous waste management violations occurred in December of 2018 when IES was apparently transitioning from a petroleum refinery to a bulk terminal operation and preparing to sell its refinery assets. The DOH claims the transition generated various hazardous wastes, some of which were improperly sent to facilities not permitted to accept hazardous waste.

IES has denied those allegations.

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Waste generators are required to make a hazardous waste determination on their waste prior to disposal, and if generators actively make this determination, we believe this type of violation could be prevented,” said Thomas Brand, Hazardous Waste Program Supervisor in the Solid & Hazardous Waste Branch of the Department of Health.

The complaint led to a nine-month investigation of the incident by DOH, which involved multiple interviews with IES employees and contractors. During the investigation, IES cooperated with the department to ensure a return to compliance with hazardous waste rules and assisted with the effort to recover improperly managed hazardous wastes and transport them to a permitted treatment, storage and disposal facility.

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As part of the agreement, IES is set to pay a a civil penalty of $708,627. The business will also be obligated to transport about 289,000 pounds of hazardous waste to a permitted hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility on the mainland. 

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