Superfund Money Is Available for Honolulu Molasses Spill

Nick Grube/Honolulu Civil Beat

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says federal Superfund dollars can help with the response to the massive molasses spill in the Honolulu Harbor that has killed thousands of fish and put Hawaii in the national spotlight for the past week.

The Superfund program is dedicated to cleaning up toxic and hazardous waste sites. Besides money, it provides a mechanism to force those responsible for the pollution — in this case Matson Navigation Co. — to carry out clean ups or reimburse the government.

On Wednesday, Schatz held a teleconference for constituents. State and federal officials updated listeners on the status of the spill and how the agencies are monitoring any environmental impacts. Besides the state Department of Health, which has the lead in the response operation, federal agencies that have been mobilized are the Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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