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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             December 11, 2006






            As part of the City’s continuing efforts to raise public awareness about best management practices for preventing water pollution,  the City Department of Environmental Services and State Department of Transportation’s Highways Division Oahu District will be giving out free calendars to gas stations, auto repair shops and garages.

The "E Malama E Ka Wai Ola" or "Protect Our Waters ... For Life" 2007 calendar features a photo of Hawaii actress Tani Lynn Fujimoto of “Flight 29 Down” with Tony J. Silva and James P. Roche, also known as the “Da Braddahs,” pouring motor oil into an oil change box. The calendar  includes illustrated reminders for the proper storage and disposal of hazardous waste, cleaning of auto parts, good housekeeping and preventing and cleaning up spills.  Phone numbers for the State Department of Health’s Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response are also included for quick reference during a spill or emergency.

            The biggest step that the City has taken in our local communities to prevent non-point source pollution of our waters is public education and outreach using a range of strategies,” said Iwalani Sato, Storm Water Public Education and Outreach Coordinator.  “The current reality is not just exceptional, large-scale, and industrial activities, but also everyday practices and habits of thousands of our citizens that are gradually degrading our water resources.”

             Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and State Department of Health have identified service stations, auto repair shops and similar establishments as significant sources of pollutants, including: 

  • Oil, grease, and detergents from auto repairs and car washing;
  • Oil and gas spills;
  • Engine and brake residue that contains antifreeze, grease, oil, copper and even asbestos; and
  • Lead, oil and grease residue from engine washing and radiator flushing.

            The City’s Storm Water Branch performs inspections of industrial or commercial sites, including service stations.  The branch is developing  a manual on applicable best management practices for industrial and commercial sites. 

            Meanwhile, the City’s Storm Drain Stenciling projects, Adopt-A-Stream and Adopt-a-Block cleanups encourage the City and other groups to work together and invest in the capability to be proactive and clean up an area on a regular basis, at least four times a year.  Incentives such as promoting businesses and community groups as “Everyday Environmental Heroes” will also encourage the elimination of illicit discharge sources.

             The City program includes enforcement authority.  The public is invited to get involved in identifying and reporting illegal discharge by calling the City’s Environmental Concern Line at 692-5656 or visiting the website at  The City can levy  fines up to $25,000 per violation per day to stop illegal discharges to the storm drain system. 

            “Enforcement and education are closely linked because we let people know what they are supposed to do and why," said Eric Takamura, Director of Environmental Services. "As we welcome the New Year, we're hoping to reach these people and get their kokua for the environment."

            For more information, visit or call 692-5656.

Media contact:

             Iwalani Sato, Storm Water Quality Branch, 692-5208.         





Tuesday, December 12, 2006

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