Clean Water Branch

Hawaii Department of Health and U.S. EPA Advise Public to Take Precautions at Keehi Lagoon and Waiopili Stream, Kauai

Warning Signs Posted 8/4/2016 at Both Areas on Oahu and Kauai

 HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is providing public notification of the potential health risk associated with recreating in and on Keehi Lagoon, Oahu and Waiopili Stream, Kauai by posting caution signs in these areas on August 4, 2016.

The signs posted at both areas notify the public to use caution before recreating on or in the water, due to high bacteria levels. Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems or open wounds are the most likely populations to develop illnesses or infections after coming into contact with polluted water, usually while swimming. DOH is not closing the areas for recreational use, but advising people to take precautionary measures.

DOH and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are concerned about elevated counts of bacteria in Keehi Lagoon in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Darby, and at Waiopili Stream near Gillin’s Beach. Bacteria levels found at both areas exceed water quality standards and may pose a potential health risk to recreational users of these waters.

A specific type of bacteria (Enterococcus sp.) is used as the indicator of the potential presence of pathogens which are harmful to humans. The posting of caution signs is based on the test results for this indicator bacteria.

DOH and EPA will continue to work together to improve the monitoring of Hawaii’s recreational waters, including specific standard protocols for public notification and posting of recreational waters with caution signs when bacteria levels exceed standards established to protect public health.

Keehi Lagoon sign locations

Ke'ehi sign map

Gillin’s Beach sign locations

gillin's beach Gillin's Beach gillins5_081216

Water Pollution Control (WPC) Viewer for Public Access to Government Documents

The WPC Viewer offers quick and easy access to NPDES permits/WQC/documents, inspections, and enforcement actions.  All non-confidential NPDES and Section 401 WQC documents, applications, correspondence, fact sheets, rationales, final permits/certifications, completed inspections, and enforcement actions can be viewed and downloaded through the WPC Viewer website.  You can search for records by typing the permit number, facility name, or facility location in the search field; clicking on the link to the record; and pressing the Permit Information button.  Alternatively, you can zoom into the map and locate the facility you are interested in.  Note: Once you’ve found your desired facility/project, an easy way to locate documents in the WPC Viewer is to press “CTRL+F” and type a keyword.  For example, if you are looking for an issued NPDES permit, press “CTRL+F” and type “fnl”.  If you are looking for the fact sheets or rationales, press “CTRL+F” and type “fact sheet” or “rationale”.

Blanket Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) for Certain 2012 Department of the Army (DA) Nationwide Permits (NWPs) (WQC0804), Effective August 31, 2015

Under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, the Department of Health (DOH), Clean Water Branch (CWB) is responsible for issuing or denying Section 401 WQCs for any project/activity that requires a federal license or permit and may result in a water pollutant discharge to State surface waters.  The DOH-CWB issued the Blanket Section 401 WQC to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for certain 2012 DA NWPs which became effective August 31, 2015.  Seven (7) NWPs are covered under the Blanket Section 401 WQC.  A discharger’s project/activity may be covered under the Blanket Section 401 WQC if the project/activity is covered under only one (1) of these NWPs and the discharger can comply with all conditions and requirements of the Blanket Section 401 WQC.

If you would like to request coverage under the Blanket Section 401 WQC:

  • Download, read, and understand the Blanket Section 401 WQC.  Response to public notice comments are also available to download.
  • Understand your responsibilities and legal obligations.
  • Determine if your organization can and will comply.
  • Design your project to incorporate the Blanket Section 401 WQC and USACE NWP requirements.
  • Complete and submit the e-Permitting NWP Blanket WQC Notification Form as required in the Blanket Section 401 WQC.

If you need a Section 401 WQC, but cannot comply with the requirements in the Blanket Section 401 WQC, you are required to complete and submit the Section 401 WQC form.  This application is available at:  https://eha-cloud.doh.hawaii.gov/epermit/.  Type “Section 401 WQC” in the Form Search field.  Click on the link to the form.  Read the instructions and complete the form.

Revisions to HAR, Chapter 11-54 (Water Quality Standards) and 11-55 (Water Pollution Control) Effective November 15, 2014The DOH-CWB amended HAR, Chapters 11-54 and 11-55.  Please see below:

NPDES General Permits (HAR, Chapter 11-55, Appendices B through L) Effective December 6, 2013The Department of Health (DOH), Clean Water Branch (CWB) amended Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), Chapter 11-55 and readopted the NPDES General Permits in HAR, Chapter 11-55, Appendices B through L.  If you would like to request coverage under one (1) of these NPDES General Permits, you are required to:1.    Download, read, and understand the NPDES General Permit for which you would like to request coverage under. Please see below for the NPDES General Permits with Standard General Permit Conditions.

2.     Determine if your project/activity and your organization will comply with every requirement in the applicable NPDES General Permit.

3.     Only after you determine that you can comply and you understand your responsibilities and legal obligations, you may submit the CWB NOI Form through the e-Permitting Portal website at: https://eha-cloud.doh.hawaii.gov/epermit/.  You will be asked to do a one-time registration to obtain your login and password.  After you register, click on the Application Finder tool and locate the “CWB NOI Form.”  Follow the instructions to complete and submit this form. 

 

If you have any questions, please download and read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) before contacting the DOH-CWB.  If you do not see an answer to your specific question in the FAQs, please contact the DOH-CWB, Engineering Section at (808) 586-4309.

2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP) On March 28, 2013, EPA issued the 2013 VGP to authorize discharges incidental to the normal operations of commercial vessels.  The 2013 VGP has an effective date of December 19, 2013.  DOH-CWB has issued a Section 401 WQC (File No. WQC0833) for the 2013 VGP.  WQC0833 becomes effective on December 19, 2013.The Owner or Operator of a vessel seeking coverage under the 2013 VGP is required to submit the VGP DOH Notification Form through the e-Permitting Portal website.  You will be asked to do a one-time registration to obtain your login and password.  After you register, click on the Application Finder tool and locate the “VGP DOH Notification Form.”  Follow the instructions to complete and submit this form.As you are completing the VGP DOH Notification Form through the e-Permitting Portal, you will be required to download the Certification Statement for VGP DOH Notification Form.  Follow the instructions on this form, and mail or deliver this form to the DOH.  After you mail or deliver this form, check the status of your submission by pressing the History Link in the e-Permitting Portal.  If you see a status of “Issued,” you are covered under WQC0833 and are obligated to comply.  No further correspondence will be provided.  If needed, you can print your e-Permitting Submission History for your file records.The e-Permitting Portal Section 401 WQC website contains:

  • A link to the U.S. EPA VGP website.  Please visit the EPA website if you wish to obtain VGP coverage and submit a Notice of Intent through the EPA eNOI system.
  • EPA contact information.  Please contact the EPA if you have any questions on the 2013 VGP.
  • WQC0833.  If you have any questions on WQC0833, please read WQC0833 and review the VGP DOH Notification Form on the e-Permitting Portal before contacting the DOH-CWB at (808) 586-4309.

Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP)

EPA intends to finalize the sVGP later this year (2013).  DOH-CWB has issued a Section 401 WQC (File No. WQC0832) for the sVGP.  WQC0832 becomes effective on December 19, 2013.

The e-Permitting Portal Section 401 WQC website contains:

•    A link to the U.S. EPA VGP website.

•    EPA contact information.  Please contact the EPA if you have any questions on the sVGP.

•    WQC0832.  If you have any questions on WQC0832, please read WQC0832 before contacting the DOH-CWB at (808) 586-4309.

 

NPDES Pesticides General PermitThe Department of Health (DOH) issued a new NPDES General Permit on October 21, 2012, to authorize point source discharges from the application of pesticides (including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, and various other substances to control pests) to State waters.  This NPDES Pesticides General Permit is in Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), Chapter 11-55, Appendix M.  Please see below for HAR 11-55, Appendix M (effective October 21, 2012) and the Standard NPDES General Permit Conditions.

To request coverage under this NPDES General Permit, you must submit the CWB NOI Form M through the e-Permitting Portal website at:  https://eha-cloud.doh.hawaii.gov/epermit/.  You will be asked to do a one-time registration to obtain your login and password.  After you register, click on the Application Finder tool and locate the “CWB NOI Form M.”  Follow the instructions to complete and submit this form.

About CWB 

Details structure of the Clean Water Branch (CWB). Includes Mission Statement, Engineering, Monitoring, and Enforcement Sections and Polluted Runoff Control Program.

Administrative Procedures

Details administrative procedures, such as  requesting a public record , public hearing, rule making, etc. Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), Chapter 91.

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Library

  • Water Quality References
  • Workshop Presentations
    The presentations given by Clean Water Branch personnel within the last 30 days are provided for information on activities relating to the Clean Water Branch programs.  Website addresses for the applicable Hawaii Administrative Rules, Chapters 11-54 and 11-55, and EPA regulations are provided in the presentation.

Permitting

  • Forms
    Provides the forms needed to obtain the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, Zone of Mixing (ZOM), Notice of General Permit Coverage (NGPC), Conditional “No Exposure” Exclusion, and Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC).  Also provides the Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Form.  Need copies of CWB files?  Get a copy of the Request to Access a Government Record form here.  The Polluted Runoff Control Program’s Request for Proposals are available from this page.
  • E-Permitting Portal
  • Standard NPDES Permit Conditions
    These Standard NPDES Permit Conditions are attached to all NPDES Individual Permits. The Standard General Permit Conditions in Hawaii Department of Health, Hawaii Administrative Rules, Chapter 11-55, Appendix A are attached to all Notices of General Permit Coverage (NGPCs).

Monitoring Section

 

Polluted Runoff Control Program

The Polluted Runoff Control Program administers grant money it receives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through Section 319(h) of the Federal Clean Water Act.  Provides funding information and copies of reports and plans.

Public Notices and Update

Public notices are provided to ensure that the public is informed about environmental health issues.   Public notices may also be published in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, West Hawaii Today, Hawaii Tribune-Herald, The Maui News, and/or The Garden Isle.

Water Quality

  • Current Warnings, Advisories, and Closures
    The Clean Water Branch posts three types of advisories. Brown Water Advisories are related to storm water discharges into coastal waters. High Indicator Bacteria Advisories are notifications of exceedances of Single Sample Maximums (104 CFU/100ml) in accordance with the BEACH ACT. Sewage  Spill Advisories pertains to sewage discharges into coastal waters.
  • General Health Advisory
  • Integrated Report and Total Maximum Daily Loads
    The Monitoring Section compiles the Integrated Reports (305b/303d) every two (2) years and develops TMDLs for impaired surface waters.
  • Ocean Recreation Links
    Links to ocean recreation groups.
  • Water Quality Data
    At the present time, the Clean Water Branch will post water quality data that is gathered under the Beach Monitoring Program. As development of the web progresses, stream and coastal monitoring data will be posted on the website.
  • Water Quality Standards