DOH Press Release: DOH Red Hill Situation Report #1

Posted on April 20, 2022 in Latest news from the department, Press room

HONOLULU – As part of its responsibility to protect the public health and environment of all Hawai’i residents, the Hawai’i Department of Health (DOH) provides bi-weekly situation reports on questions regarding the supply, surveillance and sanitation of the US Navy’s Red Hill. Bulk fuel storage facility.

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

Publish Update
Navy legal challenges to DOH emergency order to dump fuel from Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility
  • In response to the November contamination of the Navy drinking water system, the DOH issued an emergency order on December 6, 2021 to drain the Red Hill facility. The Navy appealed the order in state and federal courts. In March, the Department of Defense pledged to refuel and permanently close Red Hill.
  • The DOH continues its work to ensure the Navy’s refueling and shutdown process proceeds as expeditiously as possible, with public health and safety as top priorities.
  • In Hawaii Environmental Court, the DOH filed a response to the US Justice Department’s motion to stay (pause) the case in state court. The DOH’s response indicates that it plans to issue an updated emergency order. The new order is still being finalized and the DOH is working closely with the Department of the Attorney General on its content. The DOH will provide further information when the order is finalized.
  • The Federal Court case has been stayed until June 3 in a joint stipulation. The filing reaffirms the Department of Defense’s intent to refuel and permanently close the Red Hill facility.
Long-term monitoring of the Navy drinking water system
  • The DOH continues to oversee the Navy’s long-term drinking water monitoring plan, which includes two years of monitoring homes, schools, daycare centers and other buildings on the Navy’s water system.
  • Five percent of homes and other buildings in each area of ​​the Navy water system will be tested by the Navy monthly for the first three months.
  • The Navy will also test schools and daycares monthly for the first three months, after which it will test schools and daycares semi-annually.
Aquifer monitoring and recovery
  • The DOH continues to direct the Navy to conduct extensive sampling throughout the Red Hill facility to track the presence and movement of fuel in groundwater.
  • As of April 11, data continued 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 released by the DOH on April 19. Click here to view data.
  • Click here to view a map of Red Hill monitoring well locations to February 24, 2022.
  • The DOH also continues to oversee the Navy’s drilling of high-priority sentinel monitoring wells in coordination with the Water Resources Stewardship Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These wells are expected to be drilled this year to provide more information that will help experts protect Oʻahu’s drinking water supply.

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Media Contact:

Katie Arita Chang

Acting Communications Director

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: (808) 286-4806