Military officials are still in the process of working to clean up the area where 700 gallons of diesel fuel spilled atop the Haleakala summit last month.

Maui County locator map

During a news conference Wednesday, military officials announced that they hired Honolulu-based Tunista Services to perform excavation work to clean up the contaminated soil and are hoping to start as soon as they get approval from state health officials.

The spill occurred on the night of Jan. 29 at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex after a lightning strike damaged a back-up generator, causing hundreds of gallons of fuel to leak out into the surrounding soil.

“Our ongoing response to this fuel spill is a top priority,” said Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall. “We acknowledge this incident hurt the environment, it harmed our reputation, and calls into question the trust placed in us by our local communities.”

Military officials said Wednesday that they are closely reviewing the spill and sharing their findings across the Air Force to prevent such an occurrence from happening again. They are also standing up teams to inspect generators at military facilities across Hawaii.

Civil Beat’s coverage of Maui County is supported in part by grants from the Nuestro Futuro Foundation and the Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation.

Help power our public service journalism

As a local newsroom, Civil Beat has a unique public service role in times of crisis.

That’s why we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content, so we can get vital information out to everyone, from all communities.

We are deploying a significant amount of our resources to covering the Maui fires, and your support ensures that we can pivot when these types of emergencies arise.

Make a gift to Civil Beat today and help power our nonprofit newsroom.

About the Author