Drinking Water Emergency at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu, Hawaii (November 2021-March 2022)
- Additional Websites: Navy, Interagency Drinking Water System Team, Army, Hawaii Department of Health
- What EPA is Doing
- Safe Drinking Water Act Inspection Reports
- Other Documents
- News Releases
- Additional Resources
In late November, 2021, hundreds of families, living on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) and the Army's Aliamanu Military Reservation and Red Hill Housing, reported petroleum odors coming from residential tap water supplied by the U.S. Navy water system; there were also reports of health issues arising from the contaminated drinking water. Approximately 93,000 U.S. Navy water system users are impacted, many of whom remain in temporary housing due to the drinking water crisis.
The source of the petroleum was the nearby Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, which contaminated the Red Hill Well, the Navy's primary source for its water system.
EPA partnered with the Navy, Army and the Hawaii Department of Health in an Interagency Drinking Water System Team (IDWST) to restore safe drinking water to the affected residents and workers. The team, which launched in December, 2021, completed drinking water restoration in March 2022.
Over the next two years, the Navy is required to continue testing the affected drinking water area and continue work to cleanup the Red Hill drinking water well and impacted groundwater.
For the latest updates, news releases, and resources for residents, please visit the U.S. Navy's Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Water Updates website.
View the latest post system flushing status and drinking water sampling data at the Interagency Drinking Water System Team (IDWST) Flushing and Sampling Data website.
- EPA is an active participant in the Interagency Drinking Water System Team, which includes representatives from the Navy, Army, Hawaii DOH, and EPA.
- EPA has numerous staff and contractors on-site in Oahu providing dedicated support, and a further team of staff and managers regionally and nationally providing technical input and driving decisions.
- EPA senior leadership consults on a daily basis with our interagency partners.
- EPA continues to lend its technical expertise to help ensure that high-quality data is produced and managed, and that sampling efforts are high-quality and inform decisions protective of public health.
During the week of April 4th, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Enforcement Investigations Center (NEIC) conducted public water system inspections at the U.S. Navy’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH) and the U.S. Army’s Aliamanu Military Reservation (AMR) to determine compliance with the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and its implementing regulations.
EPA provided its inspection reports to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army on May 27, 2022. The reports found that both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army have failed to adequately operate and maintain their public water systems serving JBPHH and AMR. In response, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army have taken steps to address EPA’s concerns and have submitted documentation of their compliance activities, including photographic documentation and plans for implementation of structural controls to prevent animals from nesting inside the JBPHH’s finished water storage tanks and to remove excessive vegetation from around the tanks. In addition, both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army have submitted plans they will take to address EPA’s findings.
Below are links to the SDWA inspection reports for both JBPHH and AMR public water systems. EPA has withheld release of some information in the JBPHH and AMR inspection reports, including two of the JBPHH report’s appendices (Appendices E and F), that contain personally identifiable information and/or defense critical infrastructure security information.
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- EPA SPCC/FRP Plan Request for Pipeline (pdf)
- EPA Second Time Extension for April 25 Request for Information Letter (pdf)
- EPA Time Extension for April 25 Request for Information Letter (pdf)
- EPA Request for Information letter related to the Third Party Assessment (pdf)
- EPA "Request for Information" Letter to Navy Regarding Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Public Water System (pdf)
- EPA "Request for Information" Letter to Army Regarding Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Public Water System (pdf)
- EPA Letter: JBPHH Facility Response Plan Significant and Substantial Harm Determination (pdf)
- EPA Letter: Notice of Inspection at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (pdf)
- Safe Drinking Water Restored to All 19 Zones on Navy Water System [Mar 18]
- Health Advisory Amended for Iroquois Point (Zone A3) and Hickam Housing Areas (Zone D2) [Mar 13]
- Health Advisory Amended for Zones D4 and E1 [Mar 8]
- Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on the Closure of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility [Mar 7]
- Health Advisory Amended for Halawa, McGrew (Zone B1), Camp Smith (Zone G1), Aliamanu Military Reservation (Zone H1)[Mar 3]
- Health Advisory Amended for Ford Island (Zone A2), Hale Moku and Hokulani (Zone D1)[Mar 1]
- ICYMI: EPA Administrator Regan, Regional Administrator Guzman visit Hawaii, Highlight Oversight and Drinking Water Emergency Response [Feb 28]
- Hickam Housing Areas (Zone D2) Flushing Exceedances [Feb 19]
- Health Advisory Lifted for Red Hill Housing (Zone I1) [Feb 14]
- Interagency Drinking Water System Team Launches Website for Presenting Drinking Water Data [Feb 9]
- Red Hill Housing (Zone I1) Testing Results Submitted to Hawaii Department of Health [Feb 5]
- Statement by Regional Administrator Martha Guzman on the Drinking Water Emergency at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the Plan for EPA Inspections [Feb 4]
- Hale Moku and Hokulani (Zone D1) Residential Flushing Exceedance [Jan 29]
- Water Testing Results Released for Pearl City Peninsula (Zone A1) [Jan 24]
- Updated Drinking Water Restoration Data Release Process [Jan 23]
- Interagency Drinking Water System Team Announces Completion of Distribution System Flushing [Jan 22]
- Drinking Water Restoration timeline and Data Release Process [Jan 13]
- DOH/CDC Health Survey Expanded to Include All Navy Water System Users [Jan 11]
- Flushing of Distribution System Update [Dec 26]
- Water Distribution System Recovery Plan Agreement Signed in Joint Ceremony [Dec 18]
- Interagency Drinking Water System Team Established [Dec 17]