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Hawaii grand jury seeks Matson documents in Honolulu molasses spill

HAWAII's Matson Navigation Company has been ordered by a grand jury to produce documents to determine charges arising from an early September molasses spill into Honolulu Harbour, reports American Shipper.

Hawaii grand jury seeks Matson documents in Honolulu molasses spill
15 October 2013 - 19:27

Hawaii grand jury seeks Matson documents in Honolulu molasses spill

HAWAII's Matson Navigation Company has been ordered by a grand jury to produce documents to determine charges arising from an early September molasses spill into Honolulu Harbour, reports American Shipper.

The state health department has since declared that the harbour and nearby Keehi lagoon waters have returned to normal conditions. Keehi lagoon was reopened to the public on September 21.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Matson said it has been served with a federal grand jury subpoena for documents relating to the spill.

Also seeking data are the Hawaii Department of Health, Office of Hawaiian Affairs and US Environmental Protection Agency.

Molasses was released into the harbour from a pipeline operated by a Matson subsidiary, and the company said it is cooperating with federal and state agencies involved in responding to and investigating the spill.

Said Matson: "Government agencies have not yet presented Matson with an accounting of any claims for costs, penalties or damages, and the company has only received a limited number of third party claims. As a result Matson is unable to estimate the liabilities it may incur related to the spill."

"Matson will cover the cost of this response, not the taxpayers, and also it means that customer rates are not going to go up as a result of this spill," said Matson CEO Matthew Cox.

"In the meantime we've ceased our molasses operations and will not resume until we can do it in a safe and responsible manner. If it's determined that the current system can't be repaired or its not feasible to replace it, we're prepared to discontinue our molasses operation," he said.


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