The Navy has hired a mainland engineering firm on a $1.4 million contract to “assess facility operations and system integrity” at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger of Waltham, Massachusetts was awarded the fixed-price contract, according to a military news release. The firm’s work will begin Jan. 18 and conclude on April 30, according to the release.

Lawmakers toured the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on Jan. 6, 2022. Pictured: A Navy official shows lawmakers the fire suppression drain line that released 14,000 gallons of water and fuel on Nov. 20, 2021.
During a Jan. 6 tour, a Navy official showed lawmakers the fire suppression drain line that released 14,000 gallons of water and fuel on Nov. 20, 2021. Courtesy: State Senate/2022

The contract was executed by the Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center in Norfolk using Fiscal Year 2022 Defense Working Capital Funds, the release states.

The firm’s review is one of several investigations into the facility from which thousands of gallons of fuel leaked into the drinking water, sickening and ultimately displacing untold numbers of military families.

An investigation into the cause of the contamination was scheduled to be submitted to the Pacific Fleet on Friday, Navy officials told members of Congress last week. That review was ordered to examine the connection between two leaks at the facility, one on May 6 and another on Nov. 20.

But on Monday, Rear Adm. Charlie Brown, Navy’s chief of information, said in a statement that the “investigation report and review process is still in progress.” His office did not respond to additional questions.

There is also a separate investigation into safety concerns filed by Red Hill employees before the current contamination occurred, Navy Rear Adm. Peter Stamatopoulos told a congressional subcommittee.

However, Stamatopoulos did not provide details about that investigation at the meeting, and Navy Region Hawaii has not responded to questions about that probe.

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