The molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor earlier this month may have done massive amounts of damage to the environment, killing thousands of fish, but the financial aftermath of the whole thing will be just as damaging to locals.
Reports show that the spill, which was caused by shipper Matson Navigation Co., caused nearly $3 billion in damage. So far, crews have collected around 25,000 dead fish and other marine animals from the area affected by the spill, and although officials can remove the dead fish from the water, it isn’t possible to remove the molasses. They will have to wait for bacteria to break it down over time, but the whole process could take quite a while.
Matson Navigation Co. said in a statement that they take full responsibility for what happened and will pay whatever they need to clean everything up, but since it’s been determined that it will cost millions of dollars to get the job done, Watchdog reports that taxpayers will still be on the hook for this disaster.
Matson CEO Matt Cox recently toured the damage, reiterating that they take the full blame and consequences for what happened.
"We've let you down, and we're very sorry," said Cox.
The spill happened when a pipeline carrying molasses from a tank burst, and investigation after the incident now shows that the same pipe had a leak in the same spot over a year ago. Many people are now demanding answers as to why this had to happen when there were known problems last year.
Around 233,000 gallons of molasses was spilled into the harbor, and the sugary makeup of the substance is rapidly killing the marine life, as well as disrupting the business of local fisherman and boaters.
Still, amidst the attempted cleanup and overwhelming circumstances, incident commander Keith Kawaoka insists that everyone is working hard to fix this problem as best as possible.
“Each agency has brought in its most experienced staff from around the country,” said Kawaoka, “and I am confident they will work together to develop appropriate solutions to the problem.”