HONOLULU (KHON2) – The Hawaiʻi Department of Health announced they have conditionally approved the U.S. Navy’s first phase of its overall plan to defuel the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

A plan to defuel was required under the DOH’S Emergency Order on May 6.

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The first phase includes the Navy’s Unpacking Plan which is when they will remove existing fuel from three pipelines at the facility.

“DOH staff completed a careful review of the unpacking plan, observed spill response drills, and required additional environmental control measures be put into place before unpacking can begin,” said Deputy Director of Environmental Health Kathleen Ho.

According to the Navy, the unpacking maneuvers will begin in a couple of weeks. During this time they will first remove existing fuel from the pipelines to allow crews to begin repairs for safe defueling.

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The Navy said, these repairs are to prevent and minimize impacts from pressure surge events similar to what occurred on May 6, 2021.