Adding Insult to Injury

300,000 gallons of sewage and 233,000 gallons of molasses dumped in Hawaii’s waters

After 233,000 pounds of molasses was accidentally spilled on Honolulu Harbor last week, the Navy reported spilling 300,000 gallons of treated and disinfected sewage into the ocean off Pearl Harbor.

Though, according to an article from the Star Advertiser, the Navy gave notice of the effluent discharge to the Department of Health, it was discharged without the normal sand filtration process. The Navy reported that it is expected to be naturally dispersed with minimal health and environmental impacts and the effluent went through proper UV disinfection before being discharged.

HawaiiJust a few days prior to that, shipping company Matson Inc. spilled 233,000 gallons of molasses when a pipeline transporting the molasses to an onshore tank burst, according to NBC News. Matson has agreed to pay all the costs of the spill.

The cleanup of the molasses could be tricky, however, as it isn’t a simple skim. The molasses has dissolved into the water and sunk to the bottom of the harbor, where it is sucking up the oxygen in the water. The spill has hurt and killed many sea creatures, including fish, coral and crustaceans. At this point, over 25,000 fish have been killed, according to the Hawaii Health Dept.’s Hazards and Evaluation and Emergency Response agency.

Whether or not the sea creatures can bounce back, how long that would take, and how long it will take the molasses to exit the water is still under speculation.

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