Molasses spill timeline: Dead fish, brown water and confusionUPDATED 9:55 PM HST Sep 25, 2013Video Transcript
Dead fish, brown water and confusion. That's the snapshot from a timeline on day one of Matson's molasses spill. KITV obtained the state's harbor logs and the coast guards account of that first call signalling-- that something was not right in our waters. KITV-4's Catherine Cruz joins us with this KITV-4 exclusive The first sign that anything was wrong came from stevedores reporting for work at 7am. according to Horizon Lines. They alerted their supervisor, who in turn called the Coast Guard. But two hours after that initial red flag--the caller told KITV that he got pretty concerned when no one showed up at pier 51. Turns out they went to the wrong pier. The Coast Guard timeline points to the first call about brown water... at 7:45 monday morning. At 8:00--it notifies the DOT harbormaster. At 802--- it notifies state health officials. At 8:15---CG says it arrives at spill. State harbor logs show that at about 8am, the CG reports dead fish and brown water at pier 41 and 42 area. Two hours later the Horizon Lines employee gets worried. He told KITV he wondered WHY no one shown up. So he calls the state harbor master's office. Finally, the harbor police head to the right pier -- Pier 51- B. State Harbors points out Pier 41 is located across the channel near the Kapalama stream which often discharges brown water after a heavy rain. But the harbors administrator didn't recall it raining that day. And all afternoon -- the calls come in-- possible sewer spill at pier 36. Brown water at pier 28. Finally at 2:25 pm -- seven and a half hours later after the first brown waters are sighted- There is this entry: "Someone from Matson calls to say there is a smell of molasses coming from pier 52 and he is wondering if it was related to the brown water in the harbor" The EPA, which has launched a probe into possible violations of the clean water offered this explaination which officials have repeated from day one. What made responding to this emergency challenging is that molassis is not a regulated substance. So there is no real response plan. - Dean Higuchi 3:50 - 4:10 - "If it was an oil spill you'd have a different mechanism of notification you would have an immediate notification to a response center whihc would push teh message out to all the differnt agencies. With a molasses spill its kind of a grey area." But the timelines certainly raise questions about whehter the response could have been more timely and the spill could ahve been curtailed instead of pouring out and killing so many fish. That leak wasnt plugged until Tuesday morning. A snapshot of just the first day---a small piece of the puzzle, but a revealing one. We, like everyone else, are trying to understand how, and why, and can we do better, the next time there is another spill. Back to you.