Matson Prosecuted and Fined $1 Million for 2013 Molasses Spill
By Maui Now Staff
Matson Terminals Inc. must pay $400,000 in fines in addition to a $600,000 restitution for previous guilty pleas for two criminal charges of illegally dumping molasses into Honolulu Harbor.
The plea agreement dictates that the restitution money will be equally divided between the Waikiki Aquarium to support marine ecosystems, and the Sustainable Coastlines Hawai‘i to aid in the care and clean-up of local beaches.
According to Hawai‘i US District Attorney Florence T. Nakakuni, Matson dumped roughly 233,000 gallons of molasses into the harbor without permission between Sept. 9 and 10, 2013, while transferring the syrup from storage tanks onto ships. Matson was reportedly aware of a pipeline leaking molasses, dated from a State of Hawai‘i Department of Transportation report on July 31, 2012. The illegal discharged resulted in the death of roughly 25,000 fish in the harbor.
An investigation led by the Environmental Protection Agency led to the indictment. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Leslie E. Osborne, Jr. and Marshall H. Silverberg.