SHWB Mission Statement

Solid & Hazardous Waste Branch Mission Statement

To protect Hawaii’s lands from pollutants that endanger people and the environment, and to rehabilitate contaminated lands. To insure environmentally sound and cost-effective management of all solid and hazardous waste generated within the State through promotion of pollution prevention and waste minimization, and development of proactive partnerships with waste generators and the regulated community. By aggressive enforcement of environmental laws and regulations, this branch will assist in the the prevention of releases and the threat of release of petroleum, hazardous substances, and other contaminants within our authority.

1. Develop and implement pollution prevention programs targeting reduction of waste generation and toxicity.

2. Provide oversight and support to improve the operations of regulated facilities and activities.

3. Prevent releases of petroleum, hazardous substances and contaminants into the environment from illegal or unpermitted activities and underground storage tanks.

4. Provide technical assistance, education and outreach to the regulated community and the general public.



SHWB consists of three implementing sections, one support group, and Program Administration. The implementing sections are organized according to statutory authority. The support group is designed to provide administrative and technical support to the implementing sections. The major responsibilities of each section are as follows:

Solid Waste ManagementLandfills, SW Incinerators, Transfer Stations, Recycling and Composting Facilities, Illegal Dumping

  • Permitting
  • Inspections
  • Complaint Response
  • Enforcement
  • Technical Assistance & Training
  • Regulatory & Policy Development
  • Requests for Public Records and information

Special Waste Management – Used Oil Transport & Recycling, Lead Acid Batteries, PCS Remediation, Scrap Tires, Motor Vehicle Scrap Salvage, Medical Waste

  • Permitting
  • Inspections
  • Complaint Response
  • Enforcement
  • Technical Assistance & Training
  • Regulatory & Policy Development
  • Requests for Public Records and information

Alternative Waste Management – Recycling, Composting, Pollution Prevention

  • Education & Outreach
  • Technical Assistance
  • Financial Assistance
  • Coordination of County Waste Reduction Activities
  • Market Development

Underground Storage Tank Program

UST Compliance Program

  • Inspections
  • Provides outreach and training
  • Reviews clean closure reports
  • Regulatory and Policy development
  • Enforcement

Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program

  • State oversight of LUST response and remedial actions
  • Site visits
  • Outreach and training
  • Regulatory and Policy development
  • Enforcement

Hazardous Waste Program


  • Permitting/closures/corrective action review
  • Inspection
  • Enforcement
  • Complaint response
  • Technical assistance & training
  • Small business assistance
  • Regulatory & Policy Development
  • Requests for Public Records/Information

Waste Minimization

  • Education & Outreach
  • Technical Assistance
  • Coordination with other media & branches
  • Inspection audits

Historical Perspective
The solid waste program is the oldest of the environmental management activities within our branch (circa 1969). Passage of the Integrated Solid Waste Management Act in 1991 established the Office of Solid Waste Management by Act 324-91, and codified as HRS 342G.  Staff of 3 + coordinator (SW Engineer Vacant)/Focus on insuring that landfill owners/operators understand upcoming Subtitle D/40 CFR 258 regulations

1992: Revised Statues to be Compatible with Federal/Filled SW Engineer Position/Created SW inspector/Initiated Rule Revisions – focus on Sub D & functional standards/Hired Recycling Planner/Initiate Review of County ISWM Plans/Obtained first State P2 grant 1993: Sub D Became Effective – Focus on Landfill Repermitting/Tipping Fee Surcharge/Passed Tire Recycling Legislation/Expanded Outreach & Education/Funded County DIY Oil Recovery 1994: Glass ADF/Clean Hawaii Center 1995: Recycling Coordinator Position

Federal Mandates

Since RCRA passed in the mid 1970’s, included section on SW management (Subtitle D)/40 CFR 257.  Criteria for Classification of Solid Waste Disposal Facilities and Practices was promulgated in Sept 1979. Minimal regulatory control, primary focus industrial/commercial disposal/MSW issues until mid 1980s. Sub D (40 CFR 258) regulations were proposed in early 1980s, published in 1988, and promulgated October 1991.

Underground Storage Tank Program (UST and LUST Federal Mandates 1984. Congress responded to the increasing threat to groundwater posed by leaking USTs by adding Subtitle I to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Subtitle I required EPA to develop a comprehensive regulatory program for USTs that stored petroleum or certain hazardous substances.

Congress directed EPA to create regulations to require owners and operators of new and existing USTs to prevent, detect, and clean up releases. At the same time, Congress banned the installation of unprotected steel USTs and piping beginning in 1985.

In 1986, Congress amended Subtitle I of RCRA and created the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund, to be used for 2 purposes: To oversee remediation or clean ups by responsible parties of leaking USTs, To pay for clean ups at sites where owner/operator is unknown, unwilling, or unable to respond, and release sites that require emergency action.

The 1986 amendments also established financial responsibility requirements. Congress directed EPA to publish regulations to require UST owners and operators to demonstrate financial capacity to pay for remediation and clean up in the event of a release, and to compensate third parties for resulting damages.

In 1988, EPA finalized to technical and financial responsibility regulations for USTs.

Hazardous Waste Mandates
Passage of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in 1976 required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate regulations for the proper management of hazardous waste from its “cradle to grave”. The federal regulations were promulgated regulations were promulgated in 1980 with the intent that states would accept delegation for managing an equivalent state program.

Back in 1982, the Department of Health’s, Environmental Planning Office accepted a grant from the EPA to develop and implement a hazardous waste program. A planner was responsible for activities agreed to in the workplan. However, it soon became apparent that there was no administrative or financial support to continue the agreement and for the state to seek authorization. Thus in 1983, the state gave the program back to EPA.

However, by 1984 improper management of hazardous waste was fast becoming a national and statewide concern which prompted another attempt to establish a Cooperative Agreement through a grant and workplan agreement between Hawaii and EPA. In 1985 the state was given a grant and workplan commitments to implement a compliance and inspection, permits technical review and technical assistance program. The Cooperative Agreement was signed with the intent that the state seriously work towards delegation of the program.

Statutory Requirements

Federal Requirements

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Subtitle C  40 CFR Parts 260-279
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Subtitle D  40 CFR 258
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Subtitle I 

Hawaii State Requirements

HRS 342-G, Integrated Solid Waste Management
HRS 342-H, Solid Waste Pollution
HRS 342-I, Special Waste Management
HRS 342-J, Hazardous Waste
HRS 342-L, Underground Storage Tanks
HRS 342-N, Used Oil Recycling

Administrative Rules (Hawaii Administrative Rules – HAR)

HAR, Title 11, chapter 58.1, Solid Waste Management Control

A portion of HAR, Title 11, Chapter 104, Infectious Waste Management
HAR, Title 11, Chapters 260-280, Hazardous Waste Management


Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch
Hawai’i Department of Health
919 Ala Moana Boulevard #212
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96814

Phone: (808) 586-4226
Fax: (808) 586-7509