News Release – Department of Health conditionally approves defueling of Red Hill surge tanks

Posted on Jul 11, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (DOH) conditionally approved Joint Task Force-Red Hill’s (JTF-RH) operational plan to defuel four fuel-containing surge tanks located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. While this process is part of the defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, the surge tanks are separate from the main Red Hill tanks. 


Approximately 480,000 gallons of fuel are expected to be removed from the surge tanks. Defueling operations are expected to begin on July 17, 2023, and run through July 30, 2023.


“Today’s conditional approval represents another step forward in the defueling process,” said Deputy Director of Environmental Health Kathleen Ho. “DOH staff will be conducting on-site visits during surge tank defueling operations as part of our overall commitment to ensuring that Red Hill is defueled safely.”


In June, DOH conditionally approved JTF-RH’s overall defueling plan, which set the framework to remove approximately 104 million gallons of fuel from the aging facility. The defueling of the surge tanks is one step in this process.


Before the surge tank defueling can begin, DOH is requiring JTF-RH to submit additional documentation of repairs to the required infrastructure, train JTF-RH personnel on defueling operations and allow DOH to inspect spill mitigation and response procedures.


Click here to read DOH’s conditional approval letter.




# # #

Media Contact:

Rosemarie Bernardo | Information Specialist

Hawai‘i Department of Health

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 808-286-4806