For several months we have been investigating reports that workers from the City and County of Honolulu’s KAPA’A Transfer Station are illegally diverting leachate water from the closed KAPA’A landfill.  The workers reportedly were ordered to illegally divert leachate from the leachate sump by their supervisors after the supervisors designed and installed an apparatus in the leachate sump tank fill pipe that permit the leachate to be diverted to the waters of the state.

The workers described to me how the leacheate sump and diversion apparatus worked , and how it was used to divert the leachate from the leachate sump into the waters of the state.   They advised that a small Cushman vehicle (license C&C 6519)  parked in the rear area of the Kapa’a Waste Transfer Station,  past the mechanics shop, near the parking yard for the trash pickup trucks.  Mounted on the rear of the Cushman truck was a large black Craftman air compressor.    A rubber high compression air hose was attached to the compressor and leads from the compressor to a sump tank that was covered with a heavy gauge metal mesh with an opening cut out of it to allow for the compressor hose and a larger hose used to extract the leachate from the sump.   The end of the green hose was placed in the leachate that was contained in the sump.  The compressed air hose was placed in the sump fill pipe and attached to an item that appeared to be a rubber cylinder or ball.  A worker described how the apparatus worked, and demonstrated how it worked, by releasing some of the air contained in the ball or cylinder.  This was done by flipping a valve built into the line (depicted in attached pictures 3883 and 3884).   As the cylinder deflated, a large stream of would flow into the sump tank.   When the worker inflated the cylinder again the water stopped flowing into the sump tank.   A small metal rod was attached to the ball or cylinder to enable the workers to insert the ball or cylinder into the fill pipe.   


The worker told me that Mr. Wayne Hamada designed and authorized the use of this apparatus to divert the leachate from the sump tank into the waters of the state.  I was also informed that the following managers are aware of the presence of the apparatus in the leachate fill pipe and also authorized its use to divert leachate into waters of the state:  Mr. Ricky Pu’u, Supervisor 2, Mr. Sherwood Carson Transfer Station Supervisor 3, Mr. Rudy Fernandez, Transfer Station supervisor 1, and Mr. Raymond Munford,  Transfer Station Superintendant.

I was told that all trash truck drivers are assigned to drive the tanker truck that removes some of the leachate from the sump pump and are aware of the apparatus and its use.   I was also told that the following two workers are routinely assigned to monitor the apparatus installed in the leachate fill pipe and pump and haul some of the leachate out of the sump tank:  Clyde Kalahara and Steve Suniga.   

The workers pump out the sump tank when they have allowed leachate to flow into the tank to have a record to show that they are legally managing the leachate and also to conceal that they are diverting some of the leachate into waters of the state.  The apparatus was installed in January 2009 and has been in place since.