Civil Beat Staff

Sophie Cocke

Sophie Cocke is a reporter for Civil Beat. You can reach her by email at or follow her on twitter at @sophiecocke.
Use the RSS feed to subscribe to Sophie Cocke's posts today
Google Maps

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working to ensure that a jet fuel spill off Sand Island Access Road near Keehi Lagoon gets cleaned up and doesn’t migrate into nearshore waters.

The federal agency has issued a Clean Water Act order requiring Airport Service Group International, the operator of the fuel facility, and Hawaii Fueling Facilities Corp., which owns the site, to clean up all the fuel that has leaked from one of the tanks and take actions to prevent future leaks, according to a press release issued by the EPA on Friday.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Gov. David Ige has nominated Carleton Ching, Castle & Cooke Hawaii’s vice president of community and government relations, to chair the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Ching replaces William Aila, who has been named deputy director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

“Stewardship of Hawaiʻi’s unique resources is one of the most critical tasks of state government, and Carleton Ching has the heart, knowledge and skills to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources,” Ige said in a press release. “No one understands better the complex

Screenshot, Movoto maps

Hawaii holds the ignominious distinction of having the most homeless per capita for four years in a row, according to interactive maps created by Movoto, a real estate brokerage firm based in San Mateo, Calif.

In 2014, there were 487 homeless people per 100,000 Hawaii residents — 219 were unsheltered and 269 sheltered.

Hawaii’s homeless numbers have been the worst in the country since 2011 — in 2010, the state ranked third.

You can check out the maps here.

Screenshot, Movoto maps


Courtesy of Puna Geothermal Venture

The Puna geothermal plant on the Big Island has been fined $23,700 by the state Department of Health for violations of the Clean Air Act that include uncontrolled releases of hydrogen sulfide during Tropical Storm Iselle.

The storm hit the islands on August 7, knocking out power in the area and damaging utility transmission lines. The 38-megawatt plant, owned by Puna Geothermal Venture, was shut down and steam was released to relieve pressure. A faulty pressure release valve caused 39 pounds of hydrogen sulfide to be released into the air over