Red Hill (NO TYPE)

Gates leading up to the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Officials from Hawaii’s Department of Health and the U.S. Navy will brief the public on Tuesday, July 15, about efforts to clean up and contain a January fuel leak at the Navy’s Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility, as well as efforts to prevent future releases.

The open community meeting will be held at Radford High School Cafeteria at 5:30 p.m. and include brief informational presentations followed by questions from the audience, according to a DOH press release.

In January, the Navy reported that there had been a fuel leak of up to 27,000 gallons at one of its massive underground fuel tanks that rests mauka of Pearl Harbor in Halawa Heights, sparking fears that the fuel would contaminate area drinking water.

Since then, state and city officials, as well as the Navy, have stepped up testing of drinking water supplies. So far, the tests have shown that the water remains safe to drink, according to the health department.

DOH has also pressured the Navy to take steps to address the spill and come up with a plan prevent future releases.

“In February, DOH asked the Navy to develop a work plan, contain and remove contamination from the fuel release, model the fuel plume, install additional monitoring wells, and provide a plan to reduce or eliminate any future spills and protect drinking water,” according to the health department press release. “The Navy will provide an update on its mitigation actions at the meeting.”

Last month, the Navy confirmed that they had found 15 tiny holes in the tank that leaked in January.

The Navy built the 20 tanks at the Red Hill facility, each big enough to hold Aloha Tower, in the early 1940s.

A Civil Beat review of state documents following the January leak showed that there had been dozens of leaks at the Red Hill tanks since the 1940s that have contaminated the groundwater beneath the facility with hydrocarbons. State health officials, as well as the head of the Honolulu’s Board of Water Supply, have expressed concerns that the contamination in the groundwater could eventually migrate into drinking water wells.

You can read Civil Beat’s past coverage of Red Hill here:

More Pukas Found in Navy’s Red Hill Fuel Tank

Navy Finds Tiny Holes in Red Hill Tank

Officials: Navy Slow to Address Red Hill’s Threat to Drinking Water

Officials: Threat to Oahu’s Water Supply More Serious Than Thought

Red Hill: EPA May Force New Fuel Leak Detection System for Toxic

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