The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working to ensure that a jet fuel spill off Sand Island Access Road near Keehi Lagoon gets cleaned up and doesn’t migrate into nearshore waters.

The federal agency has issued a Clean Water Act order requiring Airport Service Group International, the operator of the fuel facility, and Hawaii Fueling Facilities Corp., which owns the site, to clean up all the fuel that has leaked from one of the tanks and take actions to prevent future leaks, according to a press release issued by the EPA on Friday.

Sand Island Access Road

Fuel tanks along Sand Island Access Road

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The plume has migrated within 150 feet of the harbor.

It’s too early to say whether the companies will be fined for the incident that is believed to have leaked 42,000 gallons of oil into the ground, said EPA spokesman Dean Higuchi.

“We are in the response mode,” Higuchi told Civil Beat. “We want to limit the effects of the spill. As far as what comes later, we need to get the spill taken care of first.”

Crews have been working to contain the spill, which was reported on January 21, by pumping fuel from trenches and monitoring wells. So far 16,000 gallons of fuel have been recovered.

Containment booms have been set up in the water as a precaution.

The above ground fuel storage facility holds 16 tanks. The tank that leaked has a 2.8 million gallon capacity.

Specifically, the EPA’s order includes the following requirements, according to the press release:

  • Submit to EPA by Feb. 5 a work plan for daily response activities,
  • Clean up all petroleum or contaminated materials released to the environment as a result of the spill,
  • Prevent further releases and impacts to the environment resulting from releases of oil/fuel to waters and adjoining shorelines,
  • Repair all damaged equipment at the facility to prevent future spills of petroleum
  • Submit a plan by Mar. 2 for confirmatory sampling to ensure that the cleanup activities are complete.

 

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