Navy Facility Facing DOH Fine

The state Department of Health (DOH) issued a notice of violation against the U.S. Navy Public Works Center Makalapa Compound in Pearl Harbor for alleged violations of the state’s hazardous waste and used oil rules earlier this month.

The penalty fine for the violations totals $80,000.

Makalapa Compound, which is a base yard for Pearl Harbor’s maintenance activities, has been notified of four counts of failure to make a hazardous waste determination and two counts of storage of hazardous waste without a permit.

The violations were discovered during a routine DOH inspection, in which officials found that Makalapa disposed of hazardous wastes in the trash rather than handling them as hazardous materials. These included wastes generated during coil cleaning of refrigerant equipment and wastes generated from the use of solvents containing methyl ethyl ketone and perchloroethylene. It also was found that Makalapa stored hazardous waste paints and fuels in open containers.

The Navy has requested a hearing with DOH to discuss the violations and provide updates on any changes they have made since the notice of violation was issued.

According to a statement the Navy submitted to DOH, it has been working with its staff to correct the problems found during the inspection.

The specifics of what the Navy will be required to do will depend largely on the discussion that takes place at the upcoming meeting.

“Many times when a violation occurs, we will work with the violator to negotiate different types of penalties,” explained DOH public information officer Janice Okubo. “Sometimes, in lieu of payment for a penalty, they might develop some type of project or do some additional training, or do some other mitigation work.

“If a company is willing to make the changes and do the corrective actions, our focus of course is on compliance,” Okubo added. “We want companies to comply and help keep the environment safe … so that is what we will be working with them on.”

As per standard DOH procedure, follow-up inspections will be conducted to ensure the facility’s compliance.