State to examine regulations around Red Hill storage tanks

Updated: Sep. 27, 2017 at 9:07 PM HST
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RED HILL, Oahu (HawaiiNewsNow) - An environmental court judge says he'll decide next month whether to require new state rules for underground fuel tanks.

The Sierra Club of Hawaii is suing to force new regulations after the Navy's Red Hill storage facility leaked more than 27,000 gallons of jet fuel in 2014.

Officials were quick to determine the spill did not impact the nearby water supply, event though the Board of Water Supply later reported unusual spikes in readings of the area's aquifer.

"We want to see a guarantee that the Red Hill fuel tanks won't leak again," Marti Townsend, Sierra Club of Hawaii Director said. "If they can't make that guarantee, those tanks need to be relocated because they're 100 feet above the primary drinking water for 400,000 residents and visitors."

The 20 tanks at Red Hill are reportedly about 70 years old.

The Navy says they are working to upgrade the facility.

"In fact, we're making rules. In fact, we're required by federal law to make rules. In fact, we're required by federal laws to make rules more stringent then the ones we currently have," Wade Hargrove, Deputy Attorney General said.

The state is asking for the suit to be dismissed.

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