By Tom Clements, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs
Representatives from Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii and Fleet Logistics Center were on hand July 15 for a state Department of Health (DOH) public meeting on drinking water safety and responses to a fuel release earlier in the year from the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.
Approximately 75 people attended the evening meeting at the Radford High School cafeteria. The first hour of the meeting included posters on display with representatives from the Navy, DOH and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explaining the operation of the facility, response to the fuel release, and actions to ensure safe drinking water for consumers on Oahu.
Tests of city and Navy drinking water sources continue to meet federal regulatory safe drinking water and state of Hawaii standards, and the water is safe to drink a point made by both state department of health and Navy representatives at the meeting.
Most drinking water on Oahu is drawn from underground aquifers at sources that are regularly monitored and held to very strict standards.
The meeting also featured presentations by DOH, EPA and the Navy, followed by questions from those in attendance.
Navy fuel operators detected a fuel level discrepancy in tank 5 at the Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on Jan. 13. The tank held JP-8 aviation fuel, primarily consisting of kerosene. Manual measurements indicated a possible loss of fuel from the tank, and the Navy immediately began transferring fuel to another tank at the facility in accordance with response procedures. A full inspection is underway to determine the cause of the fuel level discrepancy and subsequent release of fuel.
The Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility is a national strategic asset and continues to provide vital, secure fuel storage for ships and aircraft of U.S. Pacific Fleet and other military branches.