Data shows contamination in soil spiked after Red Hill fuel leak despite Navy claims

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Earlier this month, the U.S. Navy responded to the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility for a reported fuel release from a distribution pipeline inside. According to preliminary reports, 1,000 gallons of fuel was released during a transfer.

The Navy said the fuel was properly collected by the containment system, but the state health department released data on Monday that says otherwise.

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On Monday, the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) posted data on its website, which is obtained from the Navy, revealing a spike in fuel contaminants in the soil below the Red Hill fuel tanks, following the May 6 leak.

“The Navy’s claim is pure shibai,” Sierra Club’s attorney David Kimo Frankel said in a statement. “The Navy’s own data proves that its leak was not properly contained. The leak migrated from the facility and reached the subsurface. The Navy cannot be trusted with our groundwater.”

Frankel said there’s only explanation for the huge spike in volatile organic compounds.

“The leak was not contained. It migrated underground beneath the tanks,” he said.

Sierra Club is calling for the immediate shutdown of the Red Hill facility and to relocate the fuel to modern tanks away from the drinking supply.

The DOH is currently conducting a contested case hearing to determine whether the Navy should receive a required permit to operate the tanks.

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