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Oahu waste (NAM).jpg

Medical Waste Hindcast in Oahu, Hawaii

On the morning of January 13, 2011 after a large overnight storm, workers at the Ko Olina Resort on the leeward coast of Oahu, Hawaii came across medical waste items such as syringes, blood filled vials and sharps, stranded on the beach. Additional claims of stranded medical waste at sites along the coast were reported. After extensive data collection and interviews, the U.S. and Hawaiian Departments of Justice (DOJ) sued the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill for illegal release of hazardous waste material after a containment dike breach following large storm related rainfall and local flooding. The DOJs hired RPS to evaluate the environmental forces that could have transported the medical waste materials to the identified stranding sites at the reported times. RPS constructed a timeline of events and used data analysis and modelling techniques to verify the findings. The case was settled before going to court. 

2014

In December 2014, RPS started the project.

2015

In January 2015, the environmental and waste modelling analysis testimony was delivered.

2015

In June 2015, the court case was settled.

2015

In July 2015, the project was completed.

Project Name

Medical Waste Hindcast - Oahu, Hawaii

Clients

United States Department of Justice

Hawaii Department of Justice

Sectors

  • Water management
  • Wastewater
  • Flooding and drainage

 

Location

  • Oahu, Hawaii

Services Provided

  • Metocean data acquisition and analysis 
  • Government legal case material review and analysis 
  • Event timeline analysis 
  • Medical waste transport modeling 
  • Expert testimony development and client support for court
Oahu Medical Waste Hindcast MED WASTE SIGHTING LOCS.bmp
Oahu Medical Waste Hindcast CurrentStickplots.png

550,000 +

pounds of medical waste was buried at the landfill, some ending up on the coast

32

recorded individual sitings at 12 locations along the coast over a 7 day period

2

storm fronts passed the island just prior to the medical waste release

3.5

inches of rain fell on the island in a short period

2,000 >

photos of stranded waste were entered into evidence

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