Matson is cooperating with federal and state agencies looking into a molasses spill last month in Hawaii that killed more than 26,000 fish, and is providing all of the information requested by those agencies, spokesman Jeff Hull said on Oct. 14.
Matson on Oct. 10 was served with a federal grand jury subpoena for documents relating to the release of 1,400 tons, or 233,000 gallons, of molasses in an industrial area about five miles west of Waikiki’s hotels and beaches.
The molasses leaked out of a pipe that Matson was no longer using and that the company thought had been sealed. The molasses sank to the bottom of HonoluluHarbor, suffocating marine life.
“We operate the pipeline and it is our transfer operation,” Matson CEO Matt Cox stated after the incident occurred. “Matson is taking responsibility and we’ll continue to fully cooperate with the state on this response. We’ll be here as long as it takes to get it right,” Cox said.
Matson stated in its 8-K filing that it has received written requests for information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Hawaii Department of Health and the State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Matson ceased its molasses operations immediately following the incident and will not resume them unless the company is assured that it can do so “in a safe and responsible manner.” Cox said Matson’s pipeline operations team is working on a report that will provide him with the information needed to determine the future of its molasses cargo business.
Matson’s other operations in Hawaii, including its container business, were not affected by the spill, Hull said.