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Hawaiian Punished for Compliance Violations

HONOLULU, Hawaii — The former owner of a downtown Honolulu drycleaning plant was sentenced to 15 years probation for the improper use and disposal of perchloroethylene last week.
Xuan-Mai Pavey, the owner of Fantastique Inc. from 2000 to 2005, pleaded no contest to charges of unlawful disposal and abandonment of hazardous wastes in July, as well as an air-pollution violation.
State Department of Health (DOH) inspections conducted in 2003 and 2004 found that Fantastique failed to keep proper records on perc purchase and disposal, perform leak detection and repair machine leaks in a timely manner.
In addition, the company failed to enclose its perc waste containers, violated local permitting regulations and is suspected of releasing contaminated separator water into city sewers.
The DOH revoked Fantastique’s permit to operate a perc machine following the inspections, but evidence presented at trial indicated that the company continued to operate it. Upon closing in 2005, the operators left drums containing perc and perc wastes at the site.
Pavey asked the court to defer her no contest plea to allow her to eventually clear her record; she was denied. In addition to five years’ probation for each offense, she must pay a $6,000 fine and perform 50 hours of community service.
“This case shows that severe legal consequences result if a business owner ignores Hawaii’s pollution and hazardous-waste laws,” state attorney general Mark Bennett says. “We hope this case will serve to deter future violations of our environmental laws.”

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