June 27, 2002
San Francisco – The Hawaii Department of Health and the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency today jointly issued orders to James
Pflueger and Pflueger Properties resulting from state and federal
stormwater violations at his property above Pila’a Beach near
Kilauea on Kauai.
Pflueger has been developing his property by clearing and grading
large swaths of land since June 2001 without receiving a National
Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit under the federal Clean
Water Act. Pflueger has conducted illegal construction activities for
at least 189 days, and as a result, had at least 109 days of
unauthorized, sediment-laden storm water discharges into the Pacific
Ocean. The DOH previously issued a "notice of apparent violation" to
Pflueger on May 10.
"Any significant runoff from the Pflueger property into waterways of
the state must have a permit and meet water quality standards," said
Bruce Anderson, Director of Health. "We are concerned about any damage
to natural resources that may have resulted from this construction
"The ocean waters and coral reefs at Pila’a Beach have been
significantly degraded by sediment discharges from these unpermitted
construction activities," said Wayne Nastri, the EPA’s Regional
Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "Due to the seriousness of the
violations and threat to the environment, the EPA and Hawaii Department
of Health are taking this coordinated action to compel Mr. Pflueger to
comply with the federal and state clean water requirements."
Today’s orders require Pflueger to halt all construction and
immediately stop discharges into the ocean. Within 30 days of this
order, Pflueger must prepare and submit to the DOH and the EPA a site
stabilization plan for the property. The plan, incorporating proper
pollution management practices, needs to be implemented and completed
by Dec. 31, 2002.
The DOH may issue penalties of up to $25,000 for each day of clean
water violations and the EPA has the authority to fine up to $27,500
per day. The DOH and the EPA may join together to seek penalties
Earthjustice, a national non-profit public interest law firm, has
announced its intent to file a suit against Pflueger under provisions
of the federal Clean Water Act. The Kauai County Council has referred
the matter of alleged violations of the county grading ordinance for
investigation and possible prosecution.
# # #