Kaneohe Yacht Club fined $72K for pollution

Aug. 5—The state Department of Health fined the Kaneohe Yacht Club $72, 300 for violations of its state permit regulating water discharges.

The state Department of Health fined the Kaneohe Yacht Club $72, 300 for violations of its state permit regulating water discharges.

The violations include the unauthorized discharge of contaminated stormwater into Kaneohe Bay, failing to comply with inspection requirements and failing to implement a best management practices plan, among others, according to a DOH news release.

The department said the yacht club was in noncompliance with the terms of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued by the department about a year ago.

In addition to the monetary fine, DOH ordered the yacht club to hire an environmental program manager to ensure compliance with the permit, and to submit a corrective action report, succession plan, and inspection and stormwater sampling plan.

The club also must provide stormwater training for facility personnel.

DOH’s Clean Water Branch conducted inspections at the club at 44-503 Kaneohe Bay Drive in 2016 and 2018 in response to community complaints, according to the news release. At the time, inspectors found that boat repairs and maintenance at the facility were at risk of discharging contaminated stormwater into Kaneohe Bay.

DOH told the yacht club to cease these industrial activities or obtain an NPDES permit requiring it to adhere to stringent practices for storm water discharge, the release said. The club opted for the NPDES permit, which it obtained July 1, 2022.

In March an inspector observed an oily sheen from a boat stored within the drainage inlet at the club’s haul-out maintenance area—considered a violation because the inlet discharges to Kaneohe Bay, DOH said.

Health officials said the yacht club failed to submit quarterly discharge monitoring reports, collect stormwater samples or conduct routine facility inspections. Additionally, the club was late submitting its required Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.

Kaneohe Yacht Club, which owns the 5-acre facility, said it plans to request a hearing to present its case, which must be done 20 days after the notice of violation and order is issued. The notice was issued July 17.

“Kaneohe Yacht Club is preparing a response to the recent notice from the Clean Water Branch of the Department of Health to report the significant progress that has been made to comply with the conditions and requirements therein, ” said the club in a statement from Commodore Bill Atherton and Vice Commodore Jane Sawyer. “It is the clear commitment of KYC leaders, management, and members to work more closely with CWB officials and conduct appropriate monitoring practices to protect water quality in our marina and Kaneohe Bay.”

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