Navy points finger of Red Hill fuel on human error, community uneasy over future problems
A back-and-forth discussion over the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility is approaching its 5th year.
A back-and-forth discussion over the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility is approaching its 5th year. Some environmentalists are still upset over the 27-thousand- gallon fuel leak that seeped out of one of the tanks.
Some people attending the annual Task Force meeting at the state capitol Thursday morning want the fuel tanks fixed while others want them out because it’s too close to an aquifer— a major drinking water supplier for residents from Moanalua to Hawaii‘i Kai.
The Navy insists the water has always been safe to consume, and will continue to be through their preventative and maintenance efforts. They added the fault for the 2014 leak wasn’t because of an old system, but blame it on human error.
Admiral Fort with the United States Navy Region Hawaii says the fuel released was the “one and only release to the public since the Clean Water Act of 1988,” and was due to “contractors error and poor oversight.”
The Navy assures it's taking extra steps to prevent future leaks, like double-walled linings, and installing new leak detection systems.
According to Captain Marc Delao with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, he said, “We also do soil and vapor testing underneath the tanks themselves. We are extremely judicious about that and with everything else that we do – completely transparent.”
Residents and environmentalists aren't buying it. Some arguing it’s time to separate the tanks from the water source. In public testimony a representative with the Sierra Club Hawaii said, “I think that what we need to do is DE-couple fuel storage from our water – from our aquifer that provides the best safety to the island of O’ahu.”