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Locations of Gas Plants and Other Coal-tar Sites in the U.S.

THE STATE OF HAWAII

Introduction

            Historically known as the Sandwich Islands, this vacation-popular chain of eastern Pacific ocean volcanic islands was “discovered” by the western world in the course of navigation and the “China” trade of the early 19th century. Climatically, the volcanic rocks break down with weathering to yield plentiful fertile soil, which, in turn is held from loss to the sea by the verdant vegetation. But, basaltic lava and tropical trees do not provide the ingredients for gas manufacturing. Hence, the five major islands had the same virtual access to light and heat; oil of variable densities and grades, as brought to them by traders seeking the islands’ varied agricultural output, mainly sugar.
 
            1859 was the year of introduction of manufactured gas to Hawaii (at Honolulu, island of Oahu) , by way of Whethered & Tiffany, San Francisco gasworks constructors. Authorization was by way of a Legislative Act, awarding a 15-year franchise to Local businessmen money was forthcoming and the works was constructed near the major hotels of the time. “all the major hotels along Hotel Street were lighted with gas” and Mr. Tiffany returned to San Francisco, to procure additional gas-manufacturing equipment. He was never seen again on the island. The gasworks became abandoned eventually and Honolulu was devoid of  commercial lighting until the arrival of electricity about 1883.
 
            Manufactured gas did not return to the Islands until 1895, and, as before, then only to Honolulu, as the Honolulu Gas Co., again owned by local investors, and designed by Leon P. Lowe, of San Francisco, elder son of Prof. T.S.C. Lowe, inventor of carbureted water gas, and managed by California gas engineer Walter M. Brown. By 1912, the works were managed by and managed by veteran English gas engineer Harry L. Stronge, who was adding a second gas holder, one of 200,000 cf, giving some indication of the maximum daily production capacity. Gas was manufactured, under a series of large-corporation owners, until 1987 and the gasworks, now a prime real estate site, was in planning for remediation and redevelopment in 2008.
 
            With the tourist and agriculture boom of the 1920s, Hilo (on the largest island, Hawaii) saw the construction of another oil-gas plant, first promoted in 1916, as the Hilo Gas Company.

            In consideration of the tropical climate and the high value of timber and finished wood imported to the islands, it is reasonable to expect that several wood treatment plants will eventually be discovered to have operated and to have released their usual PAH contaminants. In this connection, the former wood treatment plant of the Kekaha Sugar Co., Ltd. At the town of that name (Island of Kauai) has been under remedial attention since before 2004.

Click the blue "EPA" link below to view the
 Hawaii map of the EPA 1985 Radian FMGP Report.

Click the green "Hatheway" link below to view the
 Hawaii map of Professor Hatheway's research.

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