WAILUKU - The state Department of Health Clean Air Branch has issued a notice of violation against Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. for an unauthorized burn last year.
According to a news release, HC&S was cited for burning around 25 acres on Nov. 4 without prior written approval from the department. The company has an agricultural burning permit with the Health Department, but the field that was burned was not among those that were listed on the permit. The violation was self-reported.
HC&S has been assessed a $2,400 fine for the violation.
In a statement issued Wednesday, HC&S General Manager Rick Volner Jr. said, "HC&S takes compliance with its agricultural burning permit very seriously and has instituted safeguards to prevent a recurrence of this incident."
Volner said the Kahului field was not supposed to be harvested until 2012. But about half of the field was burned in a malicious fire, and the burned cane was harvested immediately. However, the burned fields led to some confusion about the remaining unburned cane in the Kahului field, and 25 acres were burned until the error was realized and burning was stopped, he said.
Four other Hawaii companies also were cited for air permit violations, including Tesoro Hawai'i Corp., which was fined $26,700 for opacity violations at its distillation facility on Oahu. Other violation notices were issued to: Hawaiian Electric Co. for $6,000; O. Thronas Inc., doing business as Kaua'i Aggregates, for $5,100; and Kohala Coast Concrete and Precast LLC. for $5,300.