The state Department of Land and Natural Resources paid federal regulators a six-figure fine for operating an illegal cesspool at the site of the former Kamokila Hawaiian Village in Kapaa.

Banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2005, large capacity cesspools like the one that had been servicing restrooms at the former Hawaiian cultural tour center on Kauai’s east side threaten to contaminate groundwater as they collect and release untreated raw sewage into the ground.

Since the ban went into effect, more than 3,600 large cesspools in Hawaii have been closed. But another 1,400 continue to operate.

The EPA said in a press release that the DLNR has properly shut down its cesspool at Kamokila Hawaiian Village and, as part of a settlement, the agency agreed to conduct an audit to determine whether there are other illegal cesspools in operation across its 1.3 million-acre landholdings.

The audit will help the EPA reach its goal of eliminating all illegal cesspools in Hawaii that have the potential to pollute important natural water sources, EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman said in a press release.

Earlier this year the DLNR ended its 60-year relationship with a Hawaiian family that had leased four acres from the agency to operate outrigger canoe excursions and cultural tours at Kamokila Hawaiian Village, according to KITV.

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