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Climate Forecast Success Story

PVT landfill prepared for the storms

A blue ribbon panel will meet to discuss future landfill options on Oahu. In the meantime, the state is still investigating last month’s medical waste spill at Waimanalo Gulch. One key question is why weren’t storm runoff systems built before rains pounded the Gulch? To get a sense of how it’s supposed to work, HPR’s Ben Markus visited a nearby landfill that managed to weather the storms. [source: Hawaii Public Radio]

On October 6, 2010, WFO Honolulu at their “wet season” press conference provided an outlook which indicated La Nina, wetter than normal conditions, and possibly of heavy rainfall events during January — April 2011. Based upon this forecast, PVT Land Company Ltd., spent $300,000 upgrading their storm runoff system for heavy rain situations at their privately owned landfill operating on Oahu’s west coast since 1985. The PVT landfill is a construction and demolition material solid waste landfill that is also licensed to accept asbestos-containing materials and petroleum-contaminated soil. Following a very heavy rain event on January 12, 2011, the landfill was able to open the next day because of the previous preparations they had completed saving thousands of dollars and possible very high Environmental Protection Agency fines. A nearby municipal landfill was closed by Environmental Protection Agency for 2 weeks and will face EPA fines after the event because the landfill released storm runoff contaminated by medical waste and other debris into the ocean. Syringes, vials and other waste washed up on nearby beaches for days. ( Listen to story at http://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/content/pvt-landfill-prepared-storms)

Prepared by Jim Weyman (Director, Pacific ENSO Application Center) based on a Hawaii Public Radio Story by Ben Markus.


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