Meeting held to discuss leaks from Red Hill fuel tanksUPDATED 11:49 PM HST Jul 15, 2014Video Transcript
after a fuel leak was reported. Good evening, I'm Kenny Choi. We've learned millions will be spent on the massive Red Hill fuel tanks, but after January's leak -- some fear it may not be enough to keep our drinking water safe. KITV4's Paul Drewes has more in tonight's top story. Ever since an estimate 27,000 gallons of jet fuel leaked out of the Red Hill underground storage tanks in January, the Navy has been busy reassuring the public the drinking water has not been contaminated. 13:15-13:30 "insure the public is safe and we have modern systems inside red hill and it is operated safely professionally" 17 pinhole defects were found inside one of the recently refurbished tanks as the potential source of the leak. Now the Navy is talking about what will be done to make sure future leaks are prevented. The Department of Health and the EPA are also on hand to make sure any spilled fuel doesn't reach our drinking water supply. 2:17 clean up of fuel in fractured rock environment is quite difficult 2:23 BUTT TO 2:34-2:49 "we looking to bring in some outside expertise, and trying to find some expertise on these big tanks to find out what technology are available to improve the facility." Unlike modern fuel tanks, built with double layers and additional lining to prevent leaks, the 20 massive tanks in Red Hill were built 70 years ago. Each one is steel -- as big as a 20 story building and encased in concrete. There have been leaks before. While the Navy downplays the amount of fuel that was released, according to records there were 41 leaks in one 40 year time period. And all but one tank has fuel stains in the basalt rock below the concrete casing. ruth@29:52-30:07 "i'm still worried because there's chemicals in the groundwater and eventually it is going to get into the water supply and i'm just worried about what happens when that happens and what we can do about it" Ruth, and other concerned residents came out for an informational meeting to learn more about the leak and preventive efforts. The Navy will be adding 2 more monitoring wells on the north side of the tanks -- in case spilled fuel from this leak or others is headed toward Halawa. The Navy will also be spending 60 million dollars over the next two years to refurbish more tanks, but no additional protective layers will be added. That leaves some still worried about our drinking water. jonathan starr@30:58 "the water from these wells are a lifeblood, if these wells were to go bad there would be few other options it would be critical" The two new monitoring wells are expected to be in place by this fall, and by November the Navy aims to award contracts for an advanced leak detection study as well as a secondary containment study. In the meantime, regular refurbishing work will take place on those 70-year old storage tanks. Kenny.