Technical Guidance and Fact Sheets

The Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response (HEER) Office of the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) produces technical guidance documents for the assessment and cleanup of contaminated sites, and fact sheets and brochures provide an overview on important HEER Office topics. Check back regularly for updates and additions to this information. Technical reports and memorandums related to the Technical Guidance Manual are also posted on this page.

Technical Guidance

Each of the technical guidance documents described below is hosted on a separate webpage which can be accessed using the links provided.

  • HEER Office Technical Guidance Manual (TGM) – The HEER Office TGM provides in-depth guidance on environmental assessment and cleanup of contaminated sites. TGM-related technical reports and memorandums are also posted on this webpage.
  • Environmental Hazard Evaluation (EHE) Guidance with Environmental Action Levels (EAL) – The EHE Guidance and associated EALs can be used to expedite the identification of potential hazards at sites with contaminated soil and groundwater as well as assist in the cleanup and redevelopment of these properties.
  • Cleanup of Methamphetamine Labs – This page provides technical guidance and related information for decontamination and cleanup of illegal clandestine laboratory methamphetamine manufacturing sites.
  • Soil Arsenic Guidance and Information – This page provides information on arsenic in Hawaiian soils. Widespread use of arsenic-based herbicides by former sugar plantations throughout the islands between 1915 and 1950, as well as some other historic uses of arsenic compounds, has resulted in some areas with elevated arsenic in soil. HEER Office reports on arsenic testing and guidance on evaluation of soil arsenic residues can be accessed from this site. Additional detailed information on topics ranging from bioaccessibility of arsenic to remediation options will be added to this page in the future.
  • Background Metals in Hawaiian Islands Soils The Hawaiian Islands background metals study has been in progress for several years and incorporates soil sample data from several technical and scientific sources. This report presents an evaluation of naturally occurring background concentrations of metals and related elements in the volcanic soils of the seven main Hawaiian islands (Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Maui, Kaho‘olawe, and Hawai‘i Island). Soil sample data were evaluated using cumulative probability plots, spatial and soil type distribution univariate plots, detailed spatial analysis, elemental association, geochemical analysis and professional judgment to estimate Hawai‘i-specific background concentration ranges.
  • Programmatic Environmental Hazard Evaluations and Environmental Hazard Management Plans

    • The Iwilei District encompasses approximately 315 acres of land in Honolulu and includes land owned privately and by the State of Hawaii. The HEER Office is overseeing remediation of potentially hazardous contaminants of concern that are present in soil, groundwater, and soil gas at various locations within the Iwilei District. Widespread, shallow petroleum contamination related to past releases from tank farms and pipelines is the primary concern, but metals and pesticides are also present in some areas.
      To assist those who may become exposed to this contamination, the HEER office has developed a Programmatic Environmental Hazard Evaluation (EHE) /Environmental Hazard Management Plan (EHMP) document for the Iwilei District that details remedial measures and controls that are consistent with EHMPs implemented at other sites in Hawaii where contamination is present. No further investigation or remedial action is required at many of these sites, provided that long-term site management requirements in the EHMP are followed.

      The PowerPoint for the Webinar on the Programmatic EHE/EHMP that was held on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 is available for download.
    • Since 2011, the HEER Office has been working with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) to help them identify properties with contamination or potential contamination within or near the 20-mile Honolulu Rail Transit Project (HRTP) alignment. Construction and preconstruction activities throughout the project require the movement of large volumes of soil and groundwater. In order to protect human health and the environment during the project, HART has completed additional sampling in some areas, written characterization reports for specific sites, written Environmental Hazard Evaluations (EHE) and Environmental Hazard Management Plans (EHMP) for specific sites, and developed a Programmatic EHE-EHMP to manage soil and groundwater throughout the entire HRTP. Additional information including these documents and an interactive map are provided at this link.

Fact Sheets and Brochures

Each fact sheet and brochure is provided in PDF format.

HEER Office Webinars and Presentations

A series of webinars and related presentations by HDOH office staff and invited, outside guests can be accessed and downloaded from the HEER Office Webinar page. These include presentations and workshops that discuss specific sections of the HEER office Technical Guidance Manual and Environmental Hazard Evaluation guidance documents. PowerPoint slides and links to recorded presentations are included.

Honolulu Rail Transit Project

See the HEER Office Partners with Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch to Oversee Honolulu Rail Transit Project page for information on the project including EHE-EHMPs, site details and a map of Environmental Concerns Along Rail Project.


Visit the HDOH pesticide web page for a discussion of HDOH pesticide studies and the department's work with other agencies regarding various aspects of pesticide use in Hawaii.

HEER Office Newsletters

Please see past issues of the HEER Office Newsletters.