Progress at Landfill But Trash Woes Persist

Courtesy Waste Management

One month since contaminated stormwater from the Waimanalo Gulch landfill was released to prevent a catastrophic failure, officials report they're on track to clean up the mess, repair the site and prevent it from happening again.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Jan. 25 set a rigorous timeline for the landfill's operator, Waste Management, to complete a series of repairs at the damaged facility.

"We are satisfied with the progress Waste Management has made," EPA spokesman Dean Higuchi told Civil Beat. "They are complying with our order and we will continue to review and comment on their ongoing work."

Weekend rains slowed work, but didn't interfere with meeting deadlines, city officials said.

"They were working on Saturday but then they pulled out on Sunday because of the rains," Honolulu Director of Environmental Services Tim Steinberger told Civil Beat. "It was not a heavy rain. It was not an unusual rain. Other than (that) one-day delay, we should be back on schedule, or stay on schedule as it may be."

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