Sunday, August 25, 2019

Agencies reach deal on public safety after Hawaiian fuel-storage site spill

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH), the U.S. Navy and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) have reached an agreement on the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility near Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, the EPA said on Monday.

The facility has a 250 million-gallon capacity and was the site of a large release of fuel in 2014. The agreement stipulates that the military will install technological upgrades to prevent further fuel releases and improve the facility's detection abilities.

“The Department of Health is committed to taking measures required to prevent the future releases from all underground storage tanks. In order to address the challenges presented at Red Hill, the U.S. Navy, DLA, EPA and DOH have developed this (Administrative Order on Consent, or AOC) as a framework basis to deal with this complex challenge,” Keith Kawaoka, DOH’s deputy director of environmental health, said. “The AOC establishes the process to make well-researched, well-planned and cost-effective improvements to protect the groundwater resources beneath and surrounding the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.”

In 2014, approximately 27,000 gallons of jet fuel was released while a refueling operation was taking place. Testing on water in the area indicated large increases in hydrocarbons. As part of this agreement, the Navy and DLA will be required to conduct a comprehensive hydro-geological study of the area surrounding the facility and perform a risk assessment on the Oahu drinking-water supply within two years. The Navy and DLA will also take part in developing potential clean-up measures if necessary.

Once analysis is complete, additional monitoring wells may be installed to increase diagnostics on drinking-water sources near the facility.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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