Statement from EPA Administrator Regan on the Department of Defense’s Announcement to Defuel and Close the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 7, 2022) – EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan issued the following statement after the Department of Defense announced it will defuel and permanently close the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on Oʻahu, Hawaii.
“I welcome this announcement from Secretary Austin and thank him for his leadership,” said Administrator Regan. “EPA is committed to working collaboratively with our state and federal partners to ensure clean drinking water for the people of Oʻahu. As the Department of Defense moves forward with the defueling and closure of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, EPA will continue to provide assistance and oversight. We will also work with the Department of Defense to make sure the public understands and has confidence in the process, knowing that EPA will remain involved.”
In recent weeks, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe, and Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest Martha Guzman have all visited Oʻahu and the Red Hill facility to see firsthand the drinking water response activities, engage with the impacted community, and meet with local, state, and federal partners.
EPA has been on the ground with an emergency response team since the earliest days of the drinking water response at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) and the adjacent Aliamanu Military Reservation and Red Hill Housing Army Complex. The agency will continue to partner with the Navy, Army, and the Hawaii Department of Health in the Interagency Drinking Water System Team (IDWST), which is working to restore safe drinking water to the affected residents and workers.
As part of EPA’s ongoing regulatory and oversight responsibilities, EPA will continue with its underground storage tank investigation and Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) and Facility Response Plan (FRP) investigation at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to assess compliance with regulations governing underground storage tanks, aboveground tanks, and associated fuel transfer piping. EPA will also oversee operations related to the newly announced defueling operation to ensure that it is conducted in an environmentally sound manner.
For more information on EPA’s role in the drinking water response at JBPHH, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/red-hill/drinking-water-emergency-joint-base-pearl-harbor-hickam-honolulu-hawaii.
For Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s statement on the closure of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility please visit: https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/2957825/statement-by-secretary-of-defense-lloyd-j-austin-iii-on-the-closure-of-the-red/.