April 14, 2004
Ivan Lui Kwan, Chief Procurement Officer
City and County of Honolulu
Office of the Division of Purchasing
Department of Budget and Fiscal Services
530 S. King St.
Honolulu, HI 96813
to the Hawaii Revised Statute, Sections 103D-304, 103D-305 and 103D-306,
EnviroWatch, Inc. a nonprofit organization based in Mililani, Hawaii,
respectfully submits this letter as a formal written protest of the inclusion
of Island Recycling Inc. (IRI) in the bidding process of a contract (City and
County bid no. 14338) for island-wide trash recycling on Oahu.
support of this protest EnviroWatch, Inc. offers the following facts:
A Notice of Order (No.2003/NOO-170) was issued by the City in 2003.
Substantial civil fines are accruing, but no collection of the full amount has
occurred. (Attachment 2)
IRI is operating without a valid Zoning Clearance, which is a
prerequisite for a State Solid Waste Management Permit (SWMP). The zoning
clearance was issued for a general manufacturing packaging and processing
establishment. A zoning clearance
is required for a waste disposal and processing facility, but IRI must first
obtain a CUP.
The SWMP is valid for Parcel 34 only, but IRI operates on 8 parcels.
The illegal toilet (with holding tank) in the illegal office/scale
house building is in violation of Department of Health wastewater regulations,
which require a septic tank and leach field. (Attachment 5)
There is no NPDES Permit (although the facility generates wastewater
from various processing activities, including washing ash off the ash-coated
metals from the H-Power facility). IRI was advised in 2001 that a NPDES Permit
is required. (Attachment 6)
On April 6, 2004 the DOH issued a Notice of Apparent Violation (“NAV”),
for Discharge of Pollutants to State Waters and Operating without a National
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System(“NPDES”) Permit. (Attachments 7)
A 2001 letter from the Department of Health advised IRI that hazardous
ash-coated metals from H-Power are being processed on the site and precautions
for employees’ health should be taken. (Attachment 8)
On December 23, 2003, EnviroWatch, Inc. filed a written complaint with
the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) regarding the hazardous ash
from H-Power, concerns about the facility operating with illegal structures,
operating without the proper land use and SMA permits, and potential adverse
impacts to the environment. (Attachment 9)
DPP originally approved IRI as a “General Manufacturing, Packaging,
and Processing Establishment” under the provisions of the Land Use Ordinance
(LUO), based on submittals from IRI. In
response to EnviroWatch Inc’s complaint,
DPP inspectors visited the site in January 2004, and discovered that
IRI’s use of the site is actually a much more intensive use.
DPP reassessed the use based on the site visit, and determined that the
use is a “Waste Disposal and Processing Facility.” (Attachment 10)
Waste Disposal and Processing Facilities require a Conditional Use
Inc. filed a complaint in December 23, 2003, stating that a CUP is required.
DPP agreed with EnviroWatch’s assessment and notified IRI in writing
that a CUP is required. To
date, no application for a CUP has been submitted to DPP.
A Minor Special Management Area (SMA) Permit (No. 2003/SMA-51) was
issued for a “General Manufacturing, Packaging, and Processing Establishment”.
However, IRI actually has a “Waste Disposal and Processing Facility”,
which nullifies the Minor SMA Permit, or makes it void/obsolete.
In addition the SMA permit is no longer valid because IRI did not
obtain building permits for the illegal structures within the specified time
limit imposed as a condition of the approval.
IRI is operating without a valid SMA Permit.
DPP records contain a document, which states that DPP inspectors were
told by Jim Nutter of IRI that “it is not cost-effective” for him to
separate the materials from the Mililani Curbside Pilot Recycling Project for
recycling, and the materials are just taken to the landfill.
Information provided by the City and County Environmental Services
Division indicates that the IRI is being paid fifty-five dollars a ton for the
processing of materials from the Mililani Curbside Pilot Project.
Why would the City’s Department of Environmental Services now enter
into a contract to process materials collected island wide at thirty-five
dollars a ton? There is a photo
of the un-separated materials stacked at IRI¹s facility. (Attachment 11)
Island Recycling Inc’s waste disposal and processing facility
requires an Environmental Assessment because the facility is on State land. To
date no EA has been prepared and submitted.
According to DPP records IRI indicated that they have paid no lease rent for
four of the parcels on which the facility operates. (Attachment 12)
In light of all of the above facts, and in summary, EnviroWatch, Inc.
protests the inclusion of Island Recycling Inc. in the bidding process by the
City Department of Environmental Services to a company with:
a. No Zoning
Conditional Use Permit;
c. No Special
Management Area Permit;
d. No National
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit;
e. A SWMP
authorizing the use on only one parcel;
f. A Notice of
Violation for 11 illegal structures;
g. A Notice of
Order for civil fines;
h. An illegal
toilet facility with a holding tank.
EnviroWatch, Inc. protests the participation of IRI in the bidding process and requests an investigation of the bidding and procurement procedures for this contract.
Inc. maintains that there are other companies on Oahu that have all of the
proper permits already in place, and do not have violations of building code,
This situation can lead to more illegal dumping, which will further degrade our environment. In addition, EnviroWatch, Inc. points out that the DPP is complicit in this situation
which allows IRI to continue its operations, day after day, without requiring IRI to comply with the building, zoning, Land Use Ordinance, SMA regulations and environmental laws.
The SMA Permit is also invalid because IRI did not comply with the conditions of the permit within the specified time limit. IRI has only paid fifty dollars for its’ violations,
the actual amount of fines exceeds eighteen thousand dollars.
Yet DPP allows IRI
to continue to operate an unauthorized use with outstanding violations and without the necessary permits. How long will this situation be allowed to continue?
Furthermore, DOH records contain documents that show that IRI processed approximately seventy-five hundred tires coated with lead paint from Kaholawe. However IRI filed a required closure plan that stated;
this facility does not process any hazardous waste, and all materials
purchased at the facility are shipped oversea, there is no potential
contaminants. Island Recycling does not produce any product other than
is irresponsible (at best) for the City Department of Environmental Services
to allow IRI to participate in the bidding.
Since it has so many outstanding violations and other irregularities.
assistance in this matter will be greatly appreciated.
Carroll E. Cox