Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office
The Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response (HEER) Office is part of the Department of Health (DOH) Environmental Health Administration (EHA) whose mission is to protect human health and the environment. The HEER Office reports directly to the DOH EHA Deputy Director. The HEER Office provides leadership, support, and partnership in preventing, planning for, responding to, and enforcing environmental laws relating to releases or threats of releases of hazardous substances.
The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH), Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office is inviting public review and comment on proposed cleanup actions at the former Hakalau/Pepe‘ekeo pesticide storage/mixing site at Hakalau on Hawai‘i Island (TMKs 03-2-9-02:79&81). The soils on a portion of this site are known to be contaminated with arsenic at levels that require action to reduce potential for future exposures. The public notice, a site fact sheet, and the Draft Removal Action Report are available for review and comment until June 20, 2013 (see links below). After the public comment period, the HEER Office will carefully consider all comments received and make a final determination on actions to address contamination at this site.
Public Notice for former Hakalau Pesticide Storage/Mixing Site
Fact Sheet on proposed cleanup at former Hakalau Pesticide Storage/Mixing Site
Draft Removal Action Report for former Hakalau Pesticide Storage/Mixing Site
The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH), Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office is soliciting public input in the development of a Programmatic Environmental Hazard Evaluation and Environmental Hazard Management Plan (EHE/EHMP) for the Iwilei District mauka of Nimitz Highway. Based on numerous environmental investigations, the area is known to be contaminated with hydrocarbons (e.g. gasoline, diesel, bunker oil) and their constituents and breakdown products. Metals contamination associated with debris from the Chinatown fires is also known to be present. The purpose of the EHE/EHMP is to provide guidance on the proper management of contaminated soil and groundwater encountered during installation and repairs of utilities in roadways, common areas and on properties that are not presently covered by a HDOH-approved EHE/EHMP.
Draft Updates to Section 7 of our Technical Guidance Manual (TGM): Soil Vapor and Indoor Air Sampling Guidance are available on the TGM Website.
The Hawaii State Department of Health is making available a report on the human health risks of 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP), a contaminant found in some sources of drinking water in Hawai‘i. The purpose of the report is to review the available data on the potential human health effects of TCP as a drinking water contaminant and evaluate the adequacy of Hawaii’s MCL for TCP.
HDOH is soliciting public comment on its Draft Response Action Memorandum for the Hickam Communities Remedial Action site. Soils at the site contain elevated levels of organochlorine pesticides due to past application of termiticides. HDOH is proposing a remedy to address this hazard that combines engineering controls (soil caps and geotextile marker layers) with institutional controls. The official public comment period on the proposed remedy begins June 11, 2012, and ends July 11, 2012. A fact sheet is available.
The following supporting documents for the proposed remedy are also available:
(1) Removal Action Report (RAR) (28MB);
(2) Remedial Investigation Report (RI) (5MB), RI Report Appendices: A (1MB), B (12MB), C-1 (9MB), C-2 (7MB), C-3 (8MB), C-4 (7MB), C-5 (8MB), D (4MB), & F (1MB);
(3) Environmental Hazard Evaluation (EHE, RI Report Appendix E) (28MB);
(4) Remedial Alternatives Analysis (RAA) (3MB);
(5) Environmental Hazard Management Plan (EHMP) (29MB); and
(6) Land Use Controls Inventory Document (LUCID) (17MB).
The Hawaii State Department of Health is providing the following information in response to an AP story posted by the Star Advertiser on April 30 (Biologist: Hanalei river, bay should be tested):
The concentrations of Arsenic, barium, chromium and lead reported by Hanalei River Heritage Foundation are within anticipated, natural background levels for the volcanic soils and related sediments of the Hawaiian Islands. The metals are naturally occurring, are tightly bound within minerals in the soil and are not toxic to humans or wildlife. The terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna of Kaua‘i have lived with these metals since the island was created millions of years ago. They are similar to levels of metals in soil that would be found anywhere on the islands as well as much of the world, and are not related to manmade pollution. This is well documented in numerous reports over the past several decades, and summarized in the recent draft report “Hawaiian Islands Soil Metal Background Evaluation Report” prepared for the Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office of the Department of Health. Hanalei River Heritage Foundation incorrectly compared the sediment (mud) data to regulatory standards for drinking water. These are completely unrelated standards and are not applicable to metals in soil or sediment.
If you need more information or have any questions, please contact the Site Discovery, Assessment & Response Supervisor Fenix Grange at 586-4249.
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. For more information on the report see the Cover Memo. View the full Hawaiian Islands Soil Metal Background Evaluation Report. View the summary table comparing background concentration ranges to HDOH Environmental Action Levels (EAL). Go to the Background Metals in Hawai‘ian Islands Soils page.
The HEER Office has completed extensive subsurface soil sampling of the former pesticide mixing and storage operation affecting three properties on Aalona Place in Kilauea on the island of Kauai. The final report is now available for public review. The report findings will be used by US EPA, DOH and the County of Kauai to determine appropriate actions needed to remediate the soils and restore safe use of the properties affected.
Download the Kilauea Site Inspection report to learn more:
HDOH has completed their response to public comment and made the Final Kekaha Emergency Generator Installation Site Remedial Decision and Responsiveness Summary.
There are a number of attachments to the document, available on the ADC Kekaha Diesel Generator page as separate items for ease of downloading.
A new Fact Sheet and Sampling Guide for Organochlorine Termiticides at Residential Sites have been posted on the HEER Office Website, Technical Guidance and Fact Sheet page.
Read how Brownfields and contaminated sites affect development in Hawaii.
The HEER Office is continuing investigation of soil contamination from a former pesticide mixing and storage operation affecting two properties on Aalona Place in Kilauea on the island of Kauai. This summer we plan to collect more than 90 samples to further delineate the areas of contamination in preparation for a removal action. Download the following materials to learn more:
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