DOH reviews public comments on Navy’s tank upgrade proposal

Posted on Dec 19, 2019 in Ola Lokahi

More than 300 people attended a public meeting on the U.S. Navy’s Tank Upgrade Alternative and Release Detection Decision Document at Moanalua Middle School on Nov. 19. The meeting was hosted by the multiple DOH programs and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The proposal was submitted in mid-September as a requirement of the enforceable agreement called the Administrative Order on Consent. Feedback will be used to decide whether to accept or reject the Navy’s proposal in whole or in part.

There has been significant interest in the Navy’s proposal to address mitigation and prevention of future fuel take releases. More than 50 people provided oral testimony to share their concerns and recommendations. In addition, DOH received more than 350 written comments through the Dec. 9 deadline.

Nearly six years ago there was a 27,000-gallon fuel release that was reported from the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. The proposal identifies the Navy’s future plan for these 20 tanks, each with the capacity to store 12.5 million gallons of fuel. These 70-year old tanks, which have significant strategic importance to national security, were built into the basalt rock and are located 100 feet above a drinking water aquifer.

The proposal not only identifies the upgrades that may be done directly to the tank itself, but also addresses the inspection, repair and maintenance protocols as a preventative measure, as well as, the multiple technologies used to identify any future releases. Read the proposal here.