DOH News Release: DOH Red Hill Status Report #1

Posted on Apr 20, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – As part of its responsibility to protect public health and the environment for all people in Hawai‘i, the Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) provides biweekly status reports on matters concerning the defueling, monitoring, and remediation of the U.S. Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage facility.

This update focuses on the Navy’s federal and state legal appeals of DOH’s Emergency Order. DOH also provides an update on groundwater monitoring data, which indicates that fuel contamination from the Red Hill facility is stable and possibly contracting.

 

Issue Update
Navy Legal Challenges to DOH’s Emergency Order to Defuel the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility
  • In response to the November contamination of the Navy drinking water system, DOH issued an Emergency Order on December 6, 2021 to defuel the Red Hill facility. The Navy filed appeals to the order in both state and federal courts. In March, the Department of Defense pledged to defuel and permanently shut down Red Hill.
  • DOH continues its work to ensure that the Navy’s defueling and closure process occurs as expeditiously as possible, with public health and safety as priorities.
  • In Hawaiʻi Environmental Court, DOH filed a response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s motion to stay (pause) the state court case. DOH’s response states that it plans to issue an updated Emergency Order. The new order is still in the process of being finalized and DOH is working closely with the Department of the Attorney General on its content. DOH will provide further information when the order is finalized.
  • The federal court case was stayed through June 3 in a joint stipulation. The filing restates the Department of Defense’s intent to defuel and permanently shut down the Red Hill Facility.
Long-Term Monitoring of Navy Drinking Water System
  • DOH continues to oversee the Navy’s long-term drinking water monitoring plan, which lays out two years of monitoring of homes, schools, childcare facilities, and other buildings on the Navy water system.
  • Five percent of homes and other buildings in each zone of the Navy water system will be tested by the Navy monthly for the first three months.
  • The Navy will also test schools and childcare facilities monthly for the first three months, after which it will test schools and childcare facilities semi-annually.
Aquifer Monitoring and Recovery
  • DOH continues to direct the Navy to conduct intensive sampling across the Red Hill facility to track the presence and movement of fuel in the groundwater.
  • As of April 11, data continues to show detections around the Red Hill facility. The groundwater contaminant plume appears to be stable and possibly contracting.
  • The latest data update was received and posted by DOH on April 19. Click here to view the data.
  • Click here to view a map of the Red Hill monitoring well locations as of February 24, 2022.
  • DOH also continues to oversee the Navy’s drilling of high-priority sentinel monitoring wells in coordination with the Commission on Water Resource Management and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. These wells are expected to be drilled this year to provide more information that will assist experts in protecting Oʻahu’s drinking water supply.

###

Media Contact:

Katie Arita-Chang

Acting Communications Director

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (808) 286-4806