Will “Defense Secretary Hagel” address the Navy Red Hill Fuel Tank Leaks and the growing problems for Oahu groundwater

Posted on April 1, 2014

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Article by Tina Quizon, Posted on April 1, 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet  this week with Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command,  here on Oahu.

But many of us want to know if Defense Secretary Hagel will take to task  and address the problems with the Navy Red Hill Fuel Tank Leaks and the growing problems for Oahu groundwater from the large quantities of fuel and other chemicals that have leaked from the Red Hill Fuel Facility for several decades? These questions remain to be seen, the growing problems of contamination with our ground water from the 20 Navy Fuel Tanks at the Red Hill Fuel Facility should be a top priority in his discussions, we will keep you posted on any updates.

Photo courtesy of United States Department of Defense

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In July 18, 2008 Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Dr. Donald C. Winter toured the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility to get a first-hand look at the condition of the tanks.

080718-N-5549O-064
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O’Brien/Released)

Besides the fuel contamination into our land and groundwater, there are other major problems inside the Navy Red Hill Fuel Tank Facility tunnels that have also been ignored for decades.

We reviewed reports from Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) FY 2015 MILITARY CONSTRUCTION PROJECT DATA Dated MARCH 2014 for the JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM,(RED HILL) Deferred sustainment, restoration, and modernization for fuel facilities at this location is $19.9 million.

OUTSTANDING POLLUTION AND SAFETY DEFICIENCIES:
A. AIR POLLUTION
B. WATER POLLUTION
C. OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH

Repair existing and provide additional oil tight doors along the tunnel. Provide new emergency voice and fire alarm system throughout the tunnel complex. Upgrade ventilation systems to explosion proof fixtures. Integrate ventilation system with existing emergency system controls. Provide fixed Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) gear for the lower access tunnel for emergency air supply.

PROJECT: Upgrade existing fire protection and ventilation system at the Red Hill Fuel Complex to comply with DoD life safety standards. ©

REQUIREMENT: There is a need to upgrade the life safety systems at an underground Defense Fuel Supply Point to comply with DoD life safety standards. The Red Hill Fuel Complex was constructed in 1942 and is a large scale underground petroleum storage facility. This facility provides fuel and lubricating
oil to afloat and ashore based customers in the Mid-Pacific region. The underground tanks and pump house are interconnected with a three mile plus tunnel system over 300 feet underground that serves as the fuel pipe corridor. These upgrades must be accomplished to allow of the safe operation of a tri-services fuel supply point.

CURRENT SITUATION: The existing underground fueling facility at Red Hill has inadequate fire protection infrastructure and communication system.

Fueling operations in the underground complex create high potential for a fire incident. Fires involving fuel are extremely difficult to extinguish.

This is even more so in the underground tunnels of the Red Hill tank farm because of the confined spaces.

Also the ventilation within the tunnel as well as the remote location and inadequate fire protection infrastructure external to the tunnel make this high risk operation.
DD Form 1391, July 1999 PREVIOUS EDITION IS OBSOLETE. page 41

IMPACT IF NOT PROVIDED: If this project is not provided, personnel, infrastructure, mission support capability, and DoD property will continue to be at an unnecessarily elevated risk. The high potential for fire incident and long egress distances coupled with inadequate fire protection, alarm, containment, communications, emergency power, and ventilation systems will continue to create a hazardous environment for all personnel in the Red Hill tunnel complex.

DD Form 1391C, July 1999 PREVIOUS EDITION IS OBSOLETE. page 42

Review the report of some of the problems at the Navy Red Hill Fuel Tank Facility here:

http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2015/budget_justification/pdfs/07_Military_Construction/9-Defense_Logistics_Agency.pdf

To date there has not been a full finding and report from the Navy, the DOH or the EPA of the Land and Water contamination for Oahu from the Fuel Leaks at the Red Hill Fuel Tank Facility, the purposed clean up, remediation, and future protection has not been completed for the Navy Red Hill Fuel Tank Facility.

This needs to be a priority by the DOD, Washington D.C., our Congress and the State of Hawaii as the stewards to secure and safeguard Life, the Water, the Land, and the people.

Update..More problems uncovered from Navy Red Hill Fuel Tanks “Hawaii News Now” reports – Environmentalists question response to Halawa tar pit

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/25177462/the-halawa-tar-pit

Our TV Show about the Navy Fuel Leaks at Red Hill Polluting Our Water and land, we shared the audio of the Hawaii State hearing, with our footage of the endangered Baby Hawaiian stilts at the Pouhala Marsh Sanctuary.

http://olelo.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=30&clip_id=40765

UPDATE: KITV news report – BWS calling on the Navy to ramp up Red Hill fuel leak monitoring, The city, state, and the Board of Water Supply have joined forces to ask the Navy to remedy the Red Hill fuel storage leak danger.

Update Sept 9, 2014 Honolulu Star Advertiser Story – Red Hill fuel tanks called a fire hazard
A Pentagon agency asks for $50 million worth of gear to cut the risk of a blaze

By William Cole

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 09, 2014 (http://bit.ly/1lQq52F)

http://www.kitv.com/news/BWS-calling-on-the-Navy-to-ramp-up-Red-Hill-fuel-leak-monitoring/25633500

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