A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Hawaii Agribusiness Development Corp. violated the federal Clean Water Act and beached public trust by discharging millions of gallons of polluted water containing pesticides, heavy metals and other toxins into the ocean off of Kauai’s west side.

Toxic runoff continues to be released into the ocean near Barking Sands and Kekaha Beach Park through a plantation-era drainage ditch system that has not been permitted since August 2015, according to court documents. The ocean in this area is heavily used for swimming, fishing, surfing and other recreational activities.

U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson

U.S. District Court

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson ruled in favor of environmental groups Na Kia’i Kai, Surfrider Foundation and Pesticide Action Network, which filed the complaint.

“There is no question that ADC discharges polluted water into the near-shore waters of the Pacific Ocean off Kauai’s western coast on a daily basis,” Watson wrote.

HADC is the state agency in charge of helping to diversify Hawaii agriculture.

Earthjustice responded to the ruling with this press release.

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