Environmental impact assessment begins after battery storage fire

Department of Health will oversee clean-up efforts

Published  10:41 PM HST Aug 03, 2012
Kahuku fire extinguished at First Wind's battery storage warehouse
KAHUKU, Hawaii -

A Department of Health emergency response team has been assigned to assess the environmental impact of a  battery storage fire in Kahuku. The 9,000 square foot warehouse owned by First Wind burned early Wednesday morning. The fire has since been contained.


Kekoa Kaluhiwa spokesperson for First Wind said, "We are determined to find the cause of this incident, take the necessary corrective measures and get this wind project back in operation."

The facility housed lead acid batteries used to store power from the wind farm.
DOH will require the company to conduct tests to see if any contamination may have occurred from the fire and if so, work with the company on a remediation plan.   

"The first step would be to characterize the site, which would require sampling, throughout the area or wherever there may have been an impact," said Gary Gill, with the Department of Health. "Then we identify if there has been a contaminate."

Gill says it is still early in the evaluation process and there is no deadline on when the clean up will need to be completed.

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