Navy poised to submit plan for defueling Red Hill fuel tanks

Thursday marks the deadline for the Navy to submit its Red Hill defueling plans to the state Health Department, but critics worry there could be more delays.
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 9:55 AM HST|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 11:47 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thursday marks the deadline for the Navy to submit its Red Hill defueling plans to the state.

The highly-anticipated report as seen as a major step forward in the water crisis, but onlookers are worried about delays.

The Navy has been ordered to release its plan to defuel the underground tanks that still have millions of gallons of jet fuel.

Stakeholders worry delays in submitting the plan could lead to more problems ahead.

”There is still no clear picture,” said Chief Engineer and Board of Water Supply manager Ernie Lau. “Right now, there are still 180 million gallons of diesel jet fuel stored in this World War II facility and it’s right over our aquifer.”

Others worry that there aren’t any real consequences for the Navy if they don’t follow this timeline. And even if the plan does come out by the end of the day, some worry defueling the tanks won’t happen fast enough.


”Our concern is that the plan today will be based on a contractor’s assessment that was contracted back in January before the Pentagon decided that this needed to be shut down,” Director of Hawaii’s Sierra Club chapter Wayne Tanaka said.

“That contractor was looking not just at defueling but resuming operations so they may have been taking a very narrow look at what options are available.”

Health regulators will still need to approve the plan after it’s submitted to the state Health Department. A Navy contractor’s report showed Red Hill needed about 200 repairs for safe defueling.

Hawaii’s congressional members say it would take at least two years and $100 million before before defueling could begin.

This story will be updated.

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