Drinking Water Incident Response at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu, Hawai’i (November 2021-March 2022)
- About the Incident
- Additional Websites
Navy, Interagency Drinking Water System Team, Army, Hawaii Department of Health
- EPA's Work to Respond
- Safe Drinking Water Act Inspection Reports
- 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. Residents reported health issues arising from the contaminated drinking water.
Approximately 93,000 U.S. Navy water system users were impacted, many of whom relocated to temporary housing during the drinking water crisis.
The source of the petroleum was the nearby Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, which contaminated the Red Hill Well, one of the Navy's sources for the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam drinking water system.
EPA coordinated with the Navy, Army and the Hawai’i Department of Health (DOH) by forming 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 soil and 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 was a core member of the Interagency Drinking Water System Team, which included representatives from the Navy, Army, Hawaii DOH, and EPA. The Interagency Drinking Water System Team transitioned out of the emergency response phase in March 2022.
- EPA deployed staff and contractors to Oʻahu and staff and managers regionally and nationally to provide technical support and expertise.
- EPA senior leadership coordinated daily with interagency partners over the course of the emergency.
- EPA continues to lend its technical expertise to help ensure that sampling efforts produce high-quality data 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.
- SDWA Inspection Report: Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Public Water System (pdf)
- SDWA Inspection Report: Aliamanu Military Reservation Public Water System (pdf)
If you experience a problem reading a document with assistive technology, please contact us.
- Defueling Plan: Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility (pdf) (June 30, 2022)
On behalf of DoD, the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), in coordination with the Director, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), provides this plan to defuel the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, Oʻahu, Hawaii.
- Navy Command Investigation Into the 2021 Red Hill Facility Release Incidents (pdf)
- 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)
- EPA Letter: Request for Navy Red Hill Investigation Information (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]