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Trash Blocked

Posted on 30th July 2010 at 08:19

A temporary restraining order has been issued to stop the inaugural shipment of trash from Honolulu to Washington state. A federal judge questioned whether the U.S. Department of Agriculture had adequately assessed the environmental impacts of the planned shipments. Robert Harris is with the Sierra Club in Hawaii, and his group says that there hasn’t been an adequate review to make sure pests aren’t being brought along with the trash. Several groups are involved in the suit against the USDA and the agreement for Hawaiian Waste Systems of Seattle, including the Yakama Indian Nation. The first shipment was scheduled to leave Hawaii today, but this latest legal setback could spell the end of the effort to ship waste from Hawaii to Washington. It will be at least a month before a hearing is held on the temporary restraining order, and Hawaiian Waste is already in a tough position, facing a fine of more than a million dollars if they haven’t shipped 100,000 tons of trash by September of this year. It’s clear that threshold will not be met. It was planned that the trash would be transferred from water transport to ground transport at the Port of Longview. Obviously, those plans are in limbo until the hearing on the restraining order, which is currently set for August 30th in Yakima.