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State briefs for March 19

Honolulu fined for sewage spills in August 2015

HONOLULU (AP) — The city of Honolulu is being fined $100,000 for mistakes that triggered a number of sewage spills in August 2015.

Heavy rains caused sewer overflows in Kailua and Kaneohe three times in August 2015. The damage forced the city to close Waikiki Beach for days.

State Health Department and Honolulu officials say a broken pump at the Ala Moana Pump Station and errors by city employees led to the discharges, the largest of which sent 500,000 gallons of raw sewage into the streets.

The city agreed to pay the fine and says an undisclosed number of employees were disciplined for deactivating an alarm at the pump station. City officials also agreed to set new rules for how to handle a similar alarm in the future.

Kauai’s honeybee population healthy

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — State officials say Kauai’s honeybee population is strong and healthy.

The state Board of Agriculture declared the island’s bee population strong after studying factors like year-round forging and a high level of honey production.

The state’s Bee Pollen Study was completed last year, and a report is expected to be released soon. The specific findings are confidential because beekeepers were worried they would lose business.

A bee pollen study was conducted in 2014 after the Kauai County Council established a grant within the Office of Economic Development that allowed beekeepers to test pollen for the presence of pesticides and other threats.

 

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