Deal over Red Hill spill in the works

Published: May. 18, 2015 at 11:11 PM HST|Updated: May. 19, 2015 at 1:20 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - State and federal regulators are close to a deal over the 2014 spill from the Navy's Red Hill fuel facility.

Sources said agreement calls for the Navy to invest in the latest technologies to monitor and protect future spills from impacting the environment and water supply. About 27,000 gallons of jet fuel leaked from one of the Navy tanks but none of it got into the area's water supply.

"That there's a deal in the works means a lot toward the resolution of this particular issue at Red Hill," said state Rep. Chris Lee, Chairman of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee and a member of the state task force investigating the spill.

"These things are going to cost tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars in the long run and it's going to come down the federal government stepping up to the plate."

The Navy confirmed that it was close to a deal and issued this statement today:

"Through the process we can achieve preservation of a national strategic asset while improving protection of the drinking water."

The Navy owns 20 of these 250-foot high concrete and steel storage tanks at its Red Hill Facility. Each of them stores about 12.5 million gallons of fuel.

It was at the bottom of tank number five that the leaks were detected.

The Health Department initially wanted the Navy to double-line the tanks, which could have cost hundreds of millions of dollars. But sources said that's not part of the deal.

Once the deal is finalized, the EPA and the state will hold meetings in about a month where the public will be able to comment.
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