Public comment sought on upgrades to Navy fuel tanks after massi - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Public comment sought on upgrades to Navy fuel tanks after massive spill

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. Navy has agreed to make major upgrades to the Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility to prevent future leaks.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department of Health announced a tentative agreement between all the agencies.

Last year, 27,000 gallons spilled from Tank 5 and is believed to have contaminated ground water.

"The water is still safe to drink," says Keith Kawaoka from the Department of Health, "Nonetheless, we will do an evaluation of what the potential of contamination could be, where it might be heading and what kind of remedial alternatives could be employed."

There are 20 large tanks in the facility. All were built in the 1940s.

Kawaoka says last year's leak was not the first.

"We have information, both anecdotal as well as documented releases of the past and we're trying to put that information together in this agreement to make sure that all that information is incorporated."

It will likely cost tens of millions of dollars to make the upgrades but the exact amount is still not known.

The agreement still needs to be approved, but first, all agencies are seeking public comment.

"The public comment is open for 30 days," says Dean Higuchi of the Environmental Protection Agency, "We will also have a public meeting on Tuesday, June 18, at the Moanalua Middle School Cafeteria to discuss the order."

That meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

If you cannot attend, public comments are being accepted through June at <http://www.epa.gov/region9/redhill>



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