The Sierra Club is concerned the lack of action poses a risk to the future of Oahu’s drinking water supply
June 23, 2016
HONOLULU, HAWAII -- The Honolulu Board of Water Supply has called the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Hawaii Department of Health to a public meeting on Monday to answer questions and address concerns about the handling of the jet fuel leaks at Red Hill.
Public Meeting Red Hill Jet Fuel Leak Update
Monday, June 27, 2016 at 2PM
Honolulu Board of Water Supply
630 South Beretania Street, Room 311
“The lack of urgency is astounding," said Marti Townsend, Director for the Sierra Club of Hawaii. "It's been two years and there is no progress in cleaning up the 27,000 gallons of fuel, and no leak prevention system installed."
Hawaii’s Department of Health entered into an “Agreement on Consent” with the U.S. Navy and Environmental Protection Agency in September 2015 to map out a plan for addressing the public outcry following the latest jet fuel leak at this facility.
“The three agencies must demonstrate that the fuel storage facility in Red Hill has no detrimental effect on the environment, especially the drinking water supply. This means cleaning up contaminants already in the environment, ensuring no future leaks, and broadly monitoring for any effects on public health,” said Townsend. “If this burden cannot be met, then it is in the public’s best interest to retire this particular storage facility.”
Groundwater monitoring since the leak in 2014 document elevated levels of jet fuel contaminants near the facility. These tanks are located less than 100 feet above the aquifer connected to the drinking water supply for a quarter of Oahu’s population. The Sierra Club, among many others, is concerned that the responsible agencies are not acting quickly enough to clean up legacy contamination and prevent future leaks from occurring.
"Leak detection does not protect the public or the environment from contamination. Only leak prevention can do that," Townsend added.
The public is encouraged to attend the public meeting at the Board of Water Supply headquarters to hear directly from officials with the Hawaii Health Department and U.S. EPA. “We are grateful that the Honolulu Board of Water Supply is providing this opportunity for our concerns to be raised and our questions answered because communication is key to building trust,” added Townsend.
EPA's Red Hill Update (March 2016)
Honolulu Board of Water Supply's comments in response to the narrowed scope of work at Red Hill (June 3, 2016)