February 21, 2022, 8:37 a.m. HST
Paradise Beverages, a major statewide beverage distributor, has added operational and process improvements to its existing catchment system and can crushing procedures to protect water resources and prevent potential impacts future related to involuntary rejections of its operations.
The company received a Notice of Violation with a fine of $75,000 from the Hawaii Department of Health for an incident involving the alleged overflow of beer into storm sewers and Waiawa Creek near its O’ahu warehouse in Waipiʻo.
“The actions of Paradise Beverages have made headlines nationwide and are yet another reminder of the threats to Hawaii’s environment,” Deputy Director of Environmental Health Kathleen Ho said in a press release. of the department. “The DOH will continue to take action to protect public health and our natural resources.”
“We appreciate daily communications and guidance from the Department of Health’s Drinking Water Branch and Honolulu City and County crews since November 10 to bring this incident to an end,” said John Erickson. , President and CEO of Paradise Beverages. “Being 100% compliant with all applicable laws and regulations is a priority for us. We have identified specific areas for improvement, and many of these have already been achieved or we are in the process of planning their implementation to ensure that we operate in an environmentally responsible manner.
The core business of Paradise Beverages is the distribution of beverages in cans or bottles. The company reports that only a small percentage of products are unsuitable for sale. Unsaleable beverage cans and bottles are set aside and mechanically crushed periodically and the resulting liquid is collected for disposal. This process had been suspended to ensure that no discharge would reach the storm sewer system. Paradise Beverages has also provided plans of its pipe system to the warehouse to the health department to ensure there is no possibility of cross-contamination between sewers and storm systems.
To further ensure the protection of water resources, Paradise Beverages reports that it will only resume the crushing operation after the appropriate systems are in place. The company is currently drawing up engineering plans which it says will exceed Health Ministry requirements by installing two levels of impermeable containment instead of one.
In the meantime, Paradise Beverages has worked with local farmers to safely dispose of the product, creating a value-added component to support local agriculture. Paradise Beverages’ four neighboring island warehouses do not engage in similar grinding operations.