DOH News Release: DOH: Contractor’s report on Red Hill defueling outlines extensive, critical repairs

Posted on May 27, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU –The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) today released an assessment report prepared by the Navy’s contractor outlining major physical repairs and operational improvements needed to enable safe defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

“This report describes extensive and critical repairs that are needed to safely defuel and decommission Red Hill,” said Kathleen Ho, Deputy Director of Environmental Health. “While the need to defuel Red Hill is urgent, public and environmental safety remain the first priority. We’ll continue to bear these things in mind as we prepare to receive the Navy’s phased defueling plan and implementation schedule by the June 30 deadline.”

Click here to read the assessment. DOH’s Emergency Order required that a copy of the assessment prepared by Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. be made available to the public.

Among the contractor’s findings:

  • Major structural repairs are needed for the piping and distribution system to enable safe defueling and minimize risk of another spill.
  • The necessary repairs will be extensive, involving the entire distribution system from Red Hill to the Pearl Harbor waters.
  • The Navy needs to develop written additional procedures for normal and emergency operations for its personnel to reduce the risk of a release.
  • Operating personnel must receive additional training to prevent spills, safely operate, and respond to emergencies.
  • An estimate of the time needed to complete these actions is still forthcoming. However, the Navy reiterated earlier estimates that the process of defueling the Red Hill tanks will take about a year once repairs are complete.

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