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Marine base makes stormwater improvements

HONOLULU – This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a Federal Facility Compliance Agreement with the U.S. Marine Corps to make improvements related to stormwater discharges at the Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i (MCBH) located on the Mokapu Peninsula of Kane‘ohe, O‘ahu.

“This Agreement marks a major milestone in protecting Hawai‘i’s water quality from damage caused by military stormwater discharges,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “By addressing significant deficiencies related to its stormwater program, the Marine Corps will protect cultural and recreational waters including Kane‘ohe Bay, Kailua Bay and the Nu‘upia Pond.”

Stormwater runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt that can harm our rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters. Permitting is designed to prevent harmful stormwater runoff into local surface waters.

The stormwater system at issue in this agreement is regulated by the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit, as authorized under the Clean Water Act.

In 2020, EPA and Hawai‘i DOH conducted an audit of MCBH’s compliance with its NPDES permit and found the facility exceeded discharge limits and failed to submit all discharge monitoring data required by the permit. The lack of required data and numerous effluent exceedances demonstrated that the Marine Corps was failing to carry out the NPDES-required systems and training to detect unauthorized discharges from its stormwater system.
Source: The Garden Island

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