DOH Statement on Release of Department of Defense’s AFFF Spill Investigation

Posted on May 5, 2023 in Navy Water System Incident, Newsroom

HONOLULU – In response to the U.S. Navy’s release of its investigation into the November 29, 2022 aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) spill at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (DOH) issued the following statement:

“The release of the DOD’s investigation and video of the November AFFF spill is long overdue,” said Deputy Director of Environmental Health Kathleen Ho. “While the DOD identified the cause of the spill as human error, the findings emphasize that the U.S. Department of Defense must take ownership on a systemic level for operations at the Red Hill facility. It also reinforces the importance of vigorous oversight over defueling, closure, and remediation of our aquifer.”

Within hours of being notified by the Navy of the November AFFF spill, DOH responded to and has closely overseen the Navy’s cleanup effort. DOH directed the Navy to conduct per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) sampling to characterize the nature and extent of the spill in the soil and groundwater.

Samples released by DOH in January confirmed that, as expected, PFAS was detected in soil excavated from the spill site. DOH continues to monitor groundwater at 11 locations near the November AFFF spill for PFAS.

Laboratory reports and additional information are available at

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