Honolulu Ordered|to Build Solar System

     HONOLULU (CN) – Honolulu must pay an $875,000 fine and build a $16 million solar system for failing to control toxic gas emissions from a closed landfill on Oahu’s windward coast.
     The Environmental Protection Agency announced the consent decree Tuesday.
     The 215-acre Kapaa Landfill in Kailua began receiving solid waste in 1969 and closed in May 1997. The city and county did not install a mandatory gas collection and control system for methane and hazardous air pollutants from decomposing refuse by a 2002 deadline.
     “The gas collection and control system at the landfill was not in place until April 2013 and is currently operational,” the EPA said.
     The delay allowed more than 343,000 tons of methane and 6,800 tons of hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds to escape, the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Regional Director Jared Blumenfeld said.
     Honolulu will pay $875,000 in penalties, and must build a $16.1 million solar power system.
     The city must install photovoltaic arrays on more than 250,000 square feet of buildings and open space at its waste-to-energy H-POWER facility in Campbell Industrial Park in Kapolei. The EPA expects the project to be completed by 2020.
     “This settlement holds Honolulu accountable for past failures to collect and control toxic gases and greenhouse gas emissions from the Kapaa Landfill, but it also lays the foundation for better environmental stewardship in the future,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.
     Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell welcomed the settlement, saying the city’s fines will pay “dividends” in the future.
     The solar power system will have a capacity of 3.1 megawatts and will generate more than 5 million kilowatt hours per year, enough to power 800 Oahu households.
     Lori Kahikina, director of the city’s Department of Environmental Services, said the city has allotted $4 million annually for the project. “We expect to have it running three years from now, two years earlier than the 2020 deadline,” Kahikina said.

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