Hawaii fines Big Island $350K over landfills

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HILO, Hawaii (AP) — State officials have fined Hawaii County $350,000 over permit violations at two landfills but the county is contesting the allegations and order.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Friday that (http://bit.ly/1sbaHLv ) Bobby Jean Leithead Todd, the county's director of environmental management, said she wants a hearing because many of the concerns have been addressed and there are a lot of allegations.

An inspection last year found the county didn't cover solid waste and didn't monitor for methane gas along the perimeter of the Hilo landfill, the Department of Health said.

An inspection this year at a landfill in Puuanahulu found nearly 1,000 tons of scrap metal and appliances were stored without permits.

Todd said the solid waste issue was resolved with new tarps that were on order during the inspection. The scrap metal violation happened when the county was closing out one contract and issuing another, she said.

"We've suggested that one way to address some of their concerns, because they don't come up that often, is what if we take pictures at the end of every day and send you a picture so you can see that we did the cover?" Todd said.

Steven Chang, who manages the state's solid and hazardous waste branch, said similar violations have happened at other landfills in the state.

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

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