(Hawaii News Now) -The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) will convene an informational meeting on July 15 to discuss the U.S. Navy's petroleum release at the Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility. The meeting is open to the public, and DOH has invited the Navy to provide an update on its actions to mitigate the confirmed release of jet fuel into the area underlying its fuel storage tanks.
"The petroleum leak detected in Red Hill has raised concerns about present and future risk to the environment and drinking water," said Gary Gill, deputy director for environmental health. "We want to give the community the opportunity to learn more about the situation and future actions."
The Navy built 20 below-ground fuel storage tanks at Red Hill in the early 1940s. In January 2014, the Navy alerted DOH to a release of up to 27,000 gallons of jet fuel through a leak in one of the tanks. Since that time, DOH, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Navy have conducted increased monitoring of drinking water wells in the area. So far, the monitoring has shown that water in nearby wells remains safe to drink.
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. The Navy will provide an update on its mitigation actions at the meeting.
The July 15 informational meeting will be held on Oahu in the Radford High School Cafeteria, located at 4361 Salt Lake Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawaii. Sign-in will begin at 5:30 p.m. Brief, informational presentations will be followed by questions from the audience and responses from DOH, EPA, and the Navy.
Persons with special communication or other accommodation needs that are planning to attend should contact the Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch with requests as soon as possible, at (808) 586-4226.
The Hawaii Department of Health's Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch oversees the management of solid waste generated within Hawaii to prevent releases of petroleum, hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants into the environment through aggressive enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. The branch promotes pollution prevention and waste minimization activities and the development of partnerships with the community.
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