top of page


Featured Projects

VRP Project: Site Characterization, Remediation, and Redevelopment of the Former ConocoPhillips Honolulu Bulk Fuel Terminal Property, Iwilei, Oʻahu


Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse purchased the property occupied by the ConocoPhillips Honolulu bulk fuel terminal, which had been in operation since 1923, with the intent of constructing a Lowe’s retail store. ESI was retained by both ConocoPhillips and Lowe’s to facilitate the demolition of the terminal, characterize the environmental condition of the property, evaluate potential environmental hazards resulting from over 80 years of use as a fuel terminal, remediate the property to the extent practicable, and assist with redevelopment of the property. This complex project is one of the largest remedial projects undertaken in Hawaii.


Initially, ESI surveyed past environmental work, performed a data gap analysis, prepared a conceptual site model, and developed a scope of work for acquiring the data necessary to assess the potential risks to human health and the environment posed by existing contamination. As part of the demolition, ESI directed the removal and permanent closure of storm water collection tanks, underground oil/water separators, and 69 underground pipelines totaling over 6,400 linear feet.


As part of the site characterization, the magnitude of contamination was determined and the extent of contamination was delineated. Using these data, the potential hazards to human health and to sensitive ecological receptors were evaluated. Once the hazards were understood, the most efficient, cost-effective, and reliable remedial strategy was selected. The chosen strategy was presented to the public and to potential stakeholders by ESI and the Department of Health.


To avoid impacting Oʻahu landfills and to reduce the costs associated with soil disposal and with importing clean fill, remedial excavation and on-site thermal desorption were chosen as the remedial strategy. Over 50,000 tons of soil were excavated and over 27,000 tons of petroleum-contaminated soil were remediated and used as fill on-site. In addition, active aeration was used to remove volatile hydrocarbons from the groundwater and over 1,200 gallons of free-phase petroleum product were recovered.


Following remediation, ESI oversaw the backfilling of the remedial excavations, the installation of a vapor barrier and vapor control system, the installation of a storm drain culvert liner, and the installation of groundwater monitoring wells. Long-term groundwater monitoring and soil vapor monitoring were conducted until it was determined that residual contamination did not pose a threat to human health or the environment.

Construction of the Lowe's retail store was completed and it is in full operation. The property is in the final stages of the Voluntary Response Program [VRP] process.


VRP Lowes


The construction of the Kalaeloa Asphalt Terminal was undertaken in response to asphalt shortages resulting from production issues at the Tesoro Hawaii refinery and the cessation of asphalt production at the Chevron refinery. The asphalt shortages caused numerous roadway pavement failures across the state and large-scale layoffs of the asphalt paving work force.


ESI assisted GLP Asphalt with many phases of the project, beginning with the conceptual design and scoping of the terminal construction and preparation of an Environmental Assessment [EA]. On behalf of GLP Asphalt, we prepared permit applications, including the special management area [SMA] permit and National Discharge Elimination System [NPDES] storm water discharge permit, and we prepared environmental plans, including a spill prevention control and countermeasure [SPCC] plan and storm water pollution control [SWPC] plan.


In addition to assistance with the environmental aspects of the project, we provided testimony before the City Council, developed the facility Health and Safety Program, managed and oversaw installation of the terminal’s fuel delivery system, and provided assistance with obtaining land use permits. Following the completion of construction, we provided environmental field oversight during the initial deliveries of asphalt from asphalt tanker ships.


The terminal construction project received an Engineering Excellence Award in 2010. The terminal continues to be the largest asphalt provider in the state. Significantly, there have been no asphalt shortages in Hawaiʻi since its construction.

Environmental Assessment, Planning, and Construction of the Kalaeloa Asphalt Terminal, Kalaeloa Barber’s Point Harbor, Oʻahu
EA Kalaeloa
Camp 6
Phase I and Phase II Due Diligence Site Investigation at Camp 6 Quarry, Puʻunene, Maui


In conjunction with the closure of an asphalt plant that had operated in the Camp 6 Quarry since the early 1990s, ESI performed a Phase I environmental site assessment on behalf of the plant owner. The Phase I assessment was conducted to identify recognized environmental conditions as well as potential environmental concerns. Following the Phase I assessment, ESI's AHERA-certified personnel performed an asbestos-containing material and lead-based paint inspection, which involved collecting and analyzing suspect materials. The subsequent asbestos abatement was conducted under the direction of ESI.


Following demolition of the plant, a Phase II environmental site assessment was conducted to assess if there had been releases of hazardous substances associated with former asphalt plant operations. To perform the assessment, the site was divided into lateral and vertical decision units based on the locations of former operations. Using multi-incremental sampling [MIS] techniques, soil samples were collected, and the lateral and vertical extents of contamination were delineated.


Using the information from the Phase II assessment, ESI oversaw the excavation and removal of contaminated soil. Following removal, soil samples were collected, and it was verified that there was no residual contamination at concentrations warranting concern. The contaminated soil was characterized, profiled, and appropriately disposed of at a landfill.

Ilio Point
Environmental Assessment and Remediation at ʻĪlio Point, Molokaʻi


Historical operations conducted at a former U.S. Coast Guard station on Molokaʻi resulted in the disposal of considerable debris into an ecologically sensitive area close to the ocean, an area frequented by monk seals and sea turtles. It was discovered that the debris contained electrical transformer components, which raised the possibility that the area may have been contaminated by PCBs. Concerned that the debris contained hazardous materials, the Coast Guard retained ESI to perform an environmental site assessment of the affected area.


The project was conducted under DOH and EPA oversight. Samples were collected of the debris and underlying soil, and of ocean water and sediment from the nearby tide pools. It was determined that contaminants were present at concentrations that posed a human and ecological risk. These included PCBs, metals, and asbestos in the debris, PCBs and metals in the soil, and lead in the sediment.


In response to the presence of these contaminants, the debris and soil were characterized for waste disposal and then excavated and removed from the site. Following removal, soil samples were collected, and it was verified that there was no residual contamination at levels warranting concern. In addition, a biological assessment was conducted, and it confirmed that near-shore aquatic animals (e.g., fish, crabs, sea urchins, limpets) were not being affected by PCBs or metals.

Storm Water Management, Permitting, Assessment, and Training, Young Brothers Facilities, Oʻahu, Maui, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi


Over a period of eight years, ESI assisted Young Brothers with storm water issues at their seven harbor facilities throughout Hawaii. We conducted environmental site assessments, prepared and implemented storm water pollution control [SWPC] plans, prepared National Discharge Elimination System [NPDES] permit applications, and provided storm water training to Young Brothers employees so that they could remain in compliance with environmental regulations.


The vehicle wash facilities at the Kahului Harbor and Nāwiliwili Harbor operations faced some complex waste water management problems. To assist them with the problems, ESI prepared best management options for both facilities. The option that Young Brothers chose was running the facility waste water through an oil/water separator and using the processed water for irrigation. This minimized disposal and handling costs, while complying with environmental regulations.


Prior to modifying their Kahului, Kawaihae, and Honolulu facilities, Young Brothers retained ESI to conduct environmental assessments to assess potential subsurface contamination related to past industrial operations. The assessments included drilling borings, installing temporary monitoring wells, collecting groundwater and soil samples, and analyzing the samples for petroleum constituents. The results of the assessments helped Young Brothers decide how to proceed with their plans for each property.


Following the modifications to their facilities, ESI was tasked with updating the storm water pollution control plans and preparing NPDES permit applications for each of Young Brothers’ seven facilities. The plans contained best management practices for preventing storm water from becoming contaminated and discharging offsite. ESI also assisted Young Brothers with the initial discharge monitoring.


Once the storm water pollution control plans were implemented, ESI developed a training program for Young Brothers that would allow their staff to perform the annual monitoring and provide discharge monitoring reports to the Department of Health. The training was conducted for the Environmental Compliance Manager and other Young Brothers staff. The training covered the requirements of NPDES permits, including sampling requirements, methodology, and reporting.

Spill Control and Countermeasure Plan, Coast Guard Sector Guam


On behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard, ESI prepared a Spill Control and Countermeasure [SPCC] plan for Coast Guard Sector Guam at Victor Pier in Santa Rita, Guam. The purpose of the SPCC plan is to identify potential sources, sites, and causes of pollution; to outline procedures, methods, equipment, and best management practices [BMPs] to prevent the discharge of petroleum-based products and other hazardous substances into or upon the waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines; and to provide response measures for dealing with spills and unanticipated releases of petroleum-based products and other hazardous substances. As part of the SPCC plan, ESI inspected the facility, prepared a hazardous waste contingency plan and an oil spill contingency plan, and provided training materials for conducting Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response [HAZWOPER] training.


VRP Project: Lead-Based Paint and Asbestos-Containing Building Material Survey at Brewer Environmental Industries, Iwilei, Oʻahu


On behalf of the new property owner, ESI performed a lead-based paint and asbestos-containing building material survey at BEI Hawaii. The survey was part of the site characterization being conducted under a Voluntary Response Program [VRP] agreement between the new owner and the Department of Health. Although not included typically in a VRP site characterization, there were concerns that the buildings at BEI Hawaii, some which were constructed in the early 1900s, could contain asbestos and could have surfaces coated with lead-based paint.


Four buildings were identified as possibly containing lead-based paint and asbestos. ESI's AHERA-certified personnel inspected building materials and collected samples of possible asbestos for laboratory analysis. Multiple layers of paints and building materials from decades of remodeling were uncovered and sampled. The lead-based paint survey required inspecting multiple layers of paint in all four buildings. ESI inspectors used a portable x-ray fluorescence [XRF] analyzer to analyze interior and exterior building surfaces for the presence of lead. In addition, paint chip samples were collected for laboratory chemical analysis.


Based on the results of the survey, there is asbestos in many of the building materials in all four buildings. Lead-based paint also was found throughout the structures. Using this information, the new property owner will be able to perform the necessary abatement of these materials when they redevelop the property. In addition, now they are aware of those areas of the buildings where deteriorated surfaces pose a potential risk to human health.


Ozone-Injection Remedial System, Service Station, Pearl City, Oʻahu


Following the discovery of a gasoline release from underground storage tanks at a service station in Pearl City, a site assessment was conducted and long-term groundwater monitoring was initiated. Despite remedial efforts that included free product recovery and the operation of a multi-phase extraction system by ESI, dissolved-phase groundwater contaminants were still present at concentrations above Department of Health [DOH] action levels 13 years after the initial discovery.


In response, ESI designed and installed an ozone-injection system at the station. Following testing and optimization, we commenced system operation and, within a month, groundwater contaminant concentrations had decreased to below DOH action levels. Over the next six rounds of monitoring, groundwater contaminant concentrations remained below DOH action levels or were not detected.


Groundwater monitoring continued with the ozone-injection system shut down in order to evaluate the possibility of contaminant concentrations rebounding. Once it was confirmed that rebound was not occurring, the DOH issued a determination of No Further Action. In their response letter, the DOH made the following statement.


"Thank you for your efforts using a variety of active remediation methods including multi-phase

extraction and ozonolysis."


This was the first successful remediation of a release site in Hawaiʻi using ozone injection.



Forensic Analysis and Free Product Characterization, Service Station, Kailua, Oʻahu


During heavy rains, groundwater at a service station rose anomalously high and entered the sump of an underground storage tank, which necessitated repair of the sump. During the repair, what appeared to be free-phase gasoline was observed on the groundwater in the tank pit. Owing to their potential liability for the release, the petroleum company that owned the station retained ESI to determine if the gasoline was from a release that occurred while the station was owned by a different petroleum company or if the release occurred while the current owner was operating the station.


ESI prepared an analytical plan, collected a sample of the gasoline, and had the sample analyzed for a range of gasoline constituents, including gasoline additives. Based on the analytical results, we were able to confirm that the petroleum product was gasoline and determine that the gasoline had undergone a high degree of evaporation, significant water washing, and biodegradation.


The data were consistent with the release having occurred prior to the time that the current owner was operating the station. In response to the results of our analysis, the former owner of the station took over the environmental investigation, monitoring, and remediation of the release.





In collaboration with Chaminade University and Pālolo Elementary School, a team of three ESI professionals gave a presentation to 5th grade students at Pālolo Elementary about oil spill response and they helped Pālolo teachers execute their science class lesson plan.


The lesson provided the 5th graders with an opportunity to learn about oil spills and how environmental professionals perform cleanups. They were introduced to famous oil spills, such as the one from the EXXON Valdez, and recent local examples, such as the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor. The students also were introduced to oil spill cleanup techniques and release response actions.


The lesson included a slide show, demonstrations, and interactive question and answer sessions. As part of the lesson, students designed an oil spill incident response action. The ESI team provided commentary and discussion on their chosen response action and cleanup technique and, afterwards, provided them with recommendations for improvement.

Oil Spill Education, Pālolo Elementary School, Pālolo, Oʻahu
bottom of page