DOH News Release: DOH Red Hill Status Report #3

Posted on May 19, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – As part of its responsibility to protect public health and the environment, 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.

DOH released a series of maps showing the effects on regional groundwater of fuel releases from the Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. The maps, which were prepared for a meeting of the Fuel Tank Advisory Committee (FTAC) held on May 13, show changes in the concentration of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) contaminants in the groundwater for the 24-month period from May 2020 through April 2022.

DOH’s FTAC presentation, including maps, can be accessed at https://health.hawaii.gov/ust/files/2022/05/22.05.13_FTAC-DOH-Presentation.pdf

 

Issue Update
DOH Emergency Order
  • On Friday, May 13, DOH received a copy of the Assessment Report prepared by the Navy’s contractor, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc., on recommended system repairs and improvements to safely defuel the Red Hill facility.
  • The report is designated by the Navy as Department of Defense critical infrastructure security information (known as “DCRIT”), so DOH is not able to release the report received on May 13 to the public. The DOH emergency order requires that the Navy provides a copy of the report that can be released to the public by May 27.
  • DOH is evaluating the contractor’s findings.
Long-Term Monitoring of Navy Drinking Water System
  • DOH continues to oversee the Navy’s long-term drinking water monitoring plan, which requires two years of monitoring of homes, schools, childcare facilities, and other buildings on the Navy water system.
  • Navy water system residents whose homes have not been sampled to date may call the Navy to arrange for sampling in the next available Long-Term Monitoring round. Contact the Navy at:
    • (808) 449-1979
    • (808) 448-3262
    • (808) 448-2557
    • (808) 448-2570
    • (808) 448-2583

 

Aquifer Monitoring and Recovery
  • The plume maps were constructed using groundwater sampling data that the Navy is required to collect and report to satisfy the 2014 Administrative Order of Consent (AOC) and the DOH Notices of Interest (NOIs). Hundreds of TPH data points based on groundwater water samples drawn from Navy monitoring wells across the Red Hill facility are compiled and evaluated before being incorporated into interpretive maps that show the apparent fuel impact distributions for each time period.
  • Careful, ongoing review of incoming sampling results from Red Hill groundwater monitoring wells show clear fuel impacts across the Red Hill monitoring well field from after the May 6, 2021 release and the November 20, 2021 release.
  • Among the latest findings:
    • Groundwater monitoring wells immediately beneath the Red Hill tank farm show persistent TPH contamination dating from both recent (2021) and prior releases.
    • Monitoring wells beneath the Red Hill tanks continue to show intermittent elevated levels of fuel contaminants since the May and November 2021 fuel releases.
    • Recent available data suggest the estimated fuel plume is receding from its northwest extent seen late in 2021. Active ongoing review of incoming data is key to tracking changes in groundwater.
    • TPH concentrations at the Red Hill tank farm appear to be declining at most wells, which indicates a general lessening of aquifer impacts visible in the well network, particularly more distant from the Tank Farm.
    • TPH concentrations at the Red Hill Shaft after the November 2021 release peaked on 12/8/21 with high levels of fresh fuel entrained in the water column. Concentrations declined thereafter, demonstrated by frequent non-detects and sporadic detections above EALs in the shaft beginning in mid-January through early April 2022, the most recent data we have received.
Red Hill Shaft Filtration and Discharge into Halawa Stream

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Media Contact:

Katie Arita-Chang

Acting Communications Director

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (808) 286-4806