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DoD Announces Plans to Decommission Facility Responsible for Hawaii Drinking Water Contamination

On Monday, March 7, 2022, the Pentagon announced its decision to shut down the World War II era 250 million gallon underground fuel storage facility that Hawaii state officials considered “a ticking time bomb.” In November 2021, a leak of 14,000 gallons of jet fuel at the Red Hill facility contaminated the ground water used by the Navy-operated public water system that serves 93,000 people in the area in and around Pearl Harbor. The spill resulted in 6,000 people being seen at military health facilities and 4,000 families displaced from their homes. On December 6, 2021, the Hawaii Department of Health issued an emergency order for the Navy to suspend operations at Red Hill. The Navy originally fought the order, but it was upheld by Hawaii’s Attorney General. On February 25, 2022, Hawaii Department of Health determined that the US Navy was out of compliance with the Emergency Order for failure to hire a qualified independent contractor to carry out the order. EPA Administrator Regan welcomed Monday’s announcement to shutter the facility and indicated that “EPA is committed to working collaboratively with state and federal partners to ensure clean drinking water for the people of O’ahu.”

For more information on Hawaii Department of Health’s Investigation into the Navy Water System, visit: https://health.hawaii.gov/about/navy-water-system-quality-updates/

For more information on EPA’s role in the drinking water response, visit: https://www.epa.gov/red-hill/drinking-water-emergency-joint-base-pearl-harbor-hickam-honolulu-hawaii