HONOLULU (KHON2) — The University of Hawaii is slated to upgrade the Waikiki Aquarium’s water system within the next five years as part of an agreement established with the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH).
DOH says the upgrade will protect nearshore waters after an assessment found that the Waikiki Aquarium had numerous discharges from its tanks and exhibits from 2014 to 2018 that exceeded the limits for regulated parameters allowed under its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit.
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The agreement allows the Waikiki Aquarium to continue to conduct research and educate residents and visitors about Hawaii’s ecosystem as it takes steps to be in compliance. The agreement also allows the Waikiki Aquarium to propose and implement a health department-approved environmentally beneficial project valued at $90,000 or more, in lieu of a monetary penalty.
“We appreciate the cooperation from both the University of Hawaii and Waikiki Aquarium to resolve these environmental issues and commend (UH) for its commitment to correct the violations identified by the health department,” said Deputy Director of Environmental Health Keith Kawaoka. “The terms of the AOC (Administrative Order on Consent) ensure the Waikiki Aquarium remains in compliance with the terms of the permit and help prevent potential water pollution that jeopardizes nearshore waters in the future.”
The Waikiki Aquarium was established in 1904 and has been an institution of the University of Hawaii since 1919.