Questions of Lax Oversight Plague Honolulu Harbor Molasses Spill
Four days after a Matson pipeline broke spilling 233,000 gallons of thick, syrupy molasses into Honolulu Harbor and killing thousands of fish and other sea creatures, a Matson executive stood in front of the harbor perspiring heavily.
The sun was hot, but a mob of reporters also bombarded Vic Angoco, senior vice president for Matson’s Pacific operations, with questions. What caused the spill? What will keep it from happening again? Will the well-known shipping company ultimately pay for the damages?
It went a bit like this:
Is there a record of when the last time the pipeline was inspected?
Angoco: “I have not even looked.”
Do you know how old the molasses pipe is?
Angoco: “I don’t.”
Does Angoco know the last time the pipe was used? “I have no idea.”