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Hawaii: Matson president talks about environmental stewardship after suffocating marine life

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The price for destroying the environment in Hawaii starts with 15 million US dollars.

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The price for destroying the environment in Hawaii starts with 15 million US dollars. This amount bought Matson Shipping Line a way out after a criminal indictment and after killing 26,000 fish and other marine life due to illegal dumping releasing molasses into Honolulu Harbor.

The settlement includes a combination of cash, restoration efforts, and funding for environmental programs.

Almost anything shipped to and from Hawaii from the rest of the United States is shipped on Matson. Protected by US law, this company does not have to compete with foreign shippers, adding to the price tag of paradise for the people residing in Hawaii and tourists visiting them from around the globe.

It’s less expensive to ship from California to Asia compared to shipping costs from and to the Aloha State. One route has international competition, the other doesn’t.

Matson often looks untouchable, but pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for illegally releasing molasses into Honolulu Harbor without a permit on September 9 and 10, 2013. The case was settled with a plea deal, like 95% of all criminal cases in the United States are.

That was 1,400 tons of molasses that spilled into the harbor in 2013.

It was enough molasses to suffocate marine life and discolor the water as the sticky substance sunk to the bottom of the harbor.

The president and CEO of Matson, Matt Cox, of this mighty shipping company had this to say: “Environmental stewardship is a core value in our company, so this event was a blow to all of us at Matson. We can’t take back what happened, but we’ve done our best to make it right.”

After this, the company was awarded with shares climbing 51 cents, or 1.3 percent, to close Wednesday at $40.07, and they were up 1 cent in after-hours trading.

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