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Molasses Spill in Honolulu Harbor and the Clean Water Act Essay Example

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Molasses Spill in Honolulu Harbor and the Clean Water Act

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Water discharges that have low levels of treatment and have no great impact to the water quality are the only ones allowed to be discharge to Hawaii’s bodies of water (Hawaii Environment Association, 2009).Water pollution is addressed by the state’s Clean Water Act. One of the threats to the waters of Hawaii is the molasses spill on the waters. Hawaii is rich with sugar industries. One of the by products of making sugar is molasses. Molasses are not thrown in the bodies of water. They are still useful for other food industries as molasses is still rich with fructose and glucose.Molasses have high levels of BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) and COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand). They also have high levels of potassium, sulphate and phosphorus content (Balakrishnan,n. High BOD of molasses causes water pollution (Pollution Control and Safety,n. Other components found in most molasses include lactic acid, ethanol, acetic acide and glycerol. Molasses coming from canes contain about 2% melanoidins- a dark brown pigment that is responsible for the brown discoloration effect to waters. Melanoidins are polymers with high molecular weight. They are rich with antioxidant properties that may be toxic to microorganisms (Balakrishnan,n.Molasses is not harmful as some would assume. It is not composed of chemicals that can injure people and that may cause burns to people’s skin. In fact, they are still classified as good ingredients for many food products and used as organic fertilizers. They are processed and boiled juice extracts from sugar manufacturing industries that can no longer be converted to crystals.Molasses, when considered in small amounts is not really harmful in the environment as they are not made up chemicals. However, when massive amount of molasses is spilled on the bodies of water, it becomes a pollutant. Sources of massive spillage of molasses on Hawaii is mostly due to cargoes and shipment of molasses on vessels as they are transferred from one place to another.The incident of molasses spillage in Honolulu , Hawaii is one of the most tragic accounts for water pollution caused by molasses. Accordingly, a faulty pipeline of a California bound container ship discarged around 1400 tons of molasses to the Hawaiian water. This event caused havoc in the marine life as many plants and fishes died. Furthermore, the Hawaiian waters were filled with big fishes

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“Density of Liquids”(n.d). Spikes Science Projects. N.d. Web. 4 May 2014

Garcia, Oskar. (2014) “Hawaii Lawmakers Call for Changes After Molasses Spill”. The Huffington Post.

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The Guardian.(2013). Thousands of fish dying as 1,400 tons of molasses ooze into Honolulu harbor”. The Guardian.

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