U.S. Navy TUA decision process

The U.S. Navy is currently deciding how it will determine which upgrades should be made to the leaky fuel tanks storing millions of gallons of fuel above Oʻahu’s primary aquifer. This decision process, presented in this document, is open to the public for review and comment.

The Sierra Club is working hard to review this document and submit comments and we encourage others to do the same. We have many questions for the Navy including the most fundamental—which alternative is guaranteed to never leak fuel into the environment? As we move through our review we will share our comments and questions via our Red Hill emailing list – subscribe today to receive updates on this decision process, our pending lawsuit, and other upcoming Red Hill related events.

The Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility holds more than 22 million gallons of jet fuel 100-feet above the primary aquifer for Oʻahu’s residents and visitors.  In 2014, 27,000 gallons of jet fuel leaked from a newly renovated tank. That fuel has not been cleaned up, nor has the more than 200,000 other gallons of fuel that has leaked over the 70-years this facility has been in operation. Petroleum constituents are detected in groundwater monitoring wells near the storage facility.  

Since the latest leak, the U.S. Navy has engaged in a negotiated assessment and upgrade process for the facility known as the Administrative Order on Consent.  This process gives the Navy 20 years to figure out how to store its fuel without contaminating a major part of Oʻahu’s water supply.

As one indication of how far off the mark the Navy’s current analysis is, they are assessing “potential contingency measures that could be put in place such as identifying other potential sources for drinking water… capture of groundwater and associated chemicals of concern beneath Red Hill including the installation of water treatment plants…”. (page 5, Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility – Tank Upgrade Alternative Decision Process, September 29, 2017).


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