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Sulphuric acid spill on Kekuanaoa

Hawaii County emergency response teams investigated a sulphuric acid spill early Friday afternoon in Hilo.

East Hawaii Battalion Chief Warren Sumida said approximately 250 gallons of sulphuric acid fell off the back of a flatbed truck at BEI Hawaii located at 430 Kekuanaoa St.

BEI Hawaii distributes fertilizers, industrial and agricultural chemicals. The Honolulu-based company has two offices on Hawaii Island, and one on Kauai and Maui.

The Hawaii County Police Department issued a road closing alert around 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Officials closed Kekuanaoa Street between Iolani and Mililani streets temporarily while BEI employees cleaned up the spill.

Sumida said other emergency response teams were called upon to investigate potential damages.

The spill leaked into a nearby dry well, Sumida said, and an official from the Department of Health was on the scene testing the waters near Wailoa River State Recreation area to see if any contamination had occurred.

Deborah Ward, spokeswoman for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, said the spill was contained.

“It was discovered that the acid spill from the BEI location was contained in a dry well and none of the acid reached the Waiakea Pond or any waters in our park. Our park is not affected,” she wrote in an email.

Capt. David Minor, with the HCFD Kaumana Fire Station Hazardous Material Response Team, said the storm drain run-off, where some of the material was found, is a dry well and doesn’t lead into any waterways.

Sumida also said one BEI employee was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

No statement was given by BEI by press time on Friday about the condition of the individual or the incident.

The Hawaii County Fire Department, the Hazardous Material Response Team, representatives from the Department of Health and DLNR were present following the spill.

Email Megan Moseley at mmoseley@hawaiitribune-


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