HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Navy is now allowed to begin discharging fuel-contaminated water from its Red Hill Shaft into the Halawa Stream.

This discharge has been authorized by the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit.

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“DOH is authorizing the Navy to begin pumping and treating water from the Red Hill Shaft to prevent contamination from spreading throughout the aquifer. DOH staff will conduct oversight and ensure that actions are protective of human health and the environment.” 

Deputy Director of Environmental Health Kathleen Ho in a statement on Thursday, Jan. 27.

According to the Navy, up to five million gallons of water will be pumped from the Red Hill Shaft per day.

However, before the water is discharged, the Navy said it will be treated using a filtration system so that all contaminants are removed. This is to ensure that the water being discharged is clean and will not become a threat to human health, plants, wildlife and existing water.

The DOH reported the Navy must also test the water for any remaining contaminants at each step during this treatment process, which will also be monitored by DOH staff.

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To view a copy of the NPDES permit, click here.