A shipping company will pay Hawaii more than $15 million to settle a spill that put 233,000 gallons of molasses into Honolulu Harbor in 2013.
The $15.4 million settlement -- a combination of cash, restoration and funding of environmental programs -- from Matson Navigation Company will reimburse Hawaii for costs related to cleaning up the harbor, regrow a coral nursery to replace coral damaged or destroyed by the spill, remove a molasses tank facility and support an upcoming international environmental conference.
The September 2013 spill occurred when a Matson ship, bound for the West coast, was being loaded with 1,600 tons of molasses. But a leak in a pipeline to the ship spewed the sticky stuff into the water, killing large amounts of coral and fish.
To put the spill in some perspective, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill was about 180,000,000 gallons. The settlement there was $18.7b. That's about $104 per gallon. The molasses spill was 230,000 gallons with a settlement of $15.4m. That's $66 per gallon. Conclusion: I have no freaking idea. I was hoping the math came out closer per gallon so I could say something snarky about how damages are calculated.
*A mother, father and baby mole are emerging from their tunnel. The mother mole sticks her head out into the bright sunshine, sniffs and declares "Yummm, I smell maple syrup." The father mole sticks his head out and declares, "Yummm, I smell honey." The baby mole, yells from the rear "Well, all I can smell is molasses."