HONOLULU (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced May 8 that N.F. Kawakami Store Ltd. (NFK), the property owner of the Koloa Big Save Supermarket in Hawaii, will settle allegations of failing to close a large-capacity cesspool on the premises.
A cesspool is a waste system that involves collecting and discharging raw sewage into the ground. According to the EPA, cesspools allow disease-causing pathogens to enter and contaminate groundwater, streams and oceans. Since 2005 large-capacity cesspools have been banned under federal law.
Hawaii has more cesspools than any other state, even though 95 percent of its drinking water comes from groundwater sources.
“EPA is committed to protecting Hawaii’s coastal water resources by closing all large-capacity cesspools,” Alexis Strauss, EPA’s acting regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, said in a statement. “Our large-capacity cesspool inspection and enforcement efforts will continue until all such cesspools are shut down.”
NFK will pay $110,000 for its alleged failure to close the cesspool on its property and for violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. NFK agreed to close the cesspool and, instead, develop a wastewater treatment plant that will be approved by the Hawaii Department of Health.