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News Releases from Region 09

MEDIA ADVISORY: Public comments and FAQ for proposed agreement on Red Hill Fuel Tanks posted to EPA and DOH websites

Contact Information: 
EPA: Dean Higuchi (higuchi.dean@epa.gov)
Hawaii DOH: Janice Okubo (janice.okubo@doh.hawaii.gov)

HONOLULU - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) have posted the public comments received and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the proposed agreement with the U.S. Navy and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) requiring the military to take measures to minimize the threat of future leaks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility near Pearl Harbor, Oahu, the site of a major fuel release last year.

In response to public interest in the proposed Administrative Order on Consent (AOC), EPA and DOH have developed the FAQ document to explain the proposed agreement. For the public comments received and FAQ on the proposed AOC, please visit the EPA or DOH websites: http://www.epa.gov/region9/waste/ust/redhill/index.html

EPA and DOH are reviewing over 140 public comments and will be doing a response to the comments. After completion of the review and response to comments, EPA and DOH may sign the AOC to make it effective, or may seek to modify it based on information received during the comment period. The proposed agreement under authority of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and state laws and regulations, commits the military to install improved technologies for fuel release prevention and detection at the facility.

In January 2014, while refilling Tank 5, the Navy identified a loss of jet fuel from the tank and reported it to DOH, estimating that about 27,000 gallons was released. The Navy increased the frequency of monitoring at a nearby Navy drinking water well, and current monitoring results for the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam water system confirm they were and are in compliance with federal and state drinking water standards both before and after the January release.

Red Hill, constructed in the 1940s, is a unique facility in the United States, consisting of 20 underground bulk fuel storage tanks built into a mountain hillside. Each tank is 250 feet tall and 100 feet in diameter, constructed of steel and encased in a minimum of 2.5 to 4 feet of concrete surrounded by basalt bedrock, and each has a fuel storage capacity of 12.5 to 12.7 million gallons. Eighteen tanks are currently active, and two are not in use.