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DOH News Release: DOH Upholds Hearings Officer’s Recommendation on Red Hill Emergency Order

Posted on Jan 3, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) finalized its Emergency Order to suspend operations and empty the underground tanks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. Deputy Director Marian Tsuji’s final order affirmed Hearings Officer David Day’s proposed findings and recommendations.

“Today’s decision affirms DOH’s actions to safeguard the drinking water that we share as a community,” said Deputy Director of Environmental Health Kathleen Ho, who issued the Emergency Order on December 6. “In light of today’s ruling, we call upon the Navy to act without further delay to address the imminent peril this facility poses to the people and environment of Hawai‘i.”

Click here to read Deputy Director Tsuji’s final decision. Today’s ruling finalizes DOH’s December 6 Emergency Order, which orders the Navy to:

  • Immediately suspend operations at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Tanks, including fuel transfers. The Navy must continue to maintain environmental and monitoring controls.
  • Take immediate steps to install drinking water treatment system(s) at Red Hill Shaft to ensure distribution of drinking water conforms to the standards prescribed by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and applicable federal and state regulations. This action should also minimize movement of the contaminant plume(s).
  • Submit a workplan and implementation schedule within 30 days, prepared by a qualified independent third party approved by DOH, to assess the operations and system integrity to safely defuel the Bulk Fuel Storage Tanks. Upon DOH’s approval of the assessment, workplan and implementation schedule, the Navy must make necessary corrective actions to address any deficiencies as expeditiously as possible.
  • Within 30 days of completion of required corrective actions, remove fuel from the Bulk Fuel Storage Tanks at the Red Hill facility.
  • Within 30 days, submit a workplan and implementation schedule, prepared by a qualified independent third party approved by DOH, to assess operations and system integrity of the Red Hill facility to determine design and operational deficiencies that may impact the environment and develop recommendations for corrective action. Upon the Department’s approval, the Navy must perform work and implement corrective actions as expeditiously as possible.

Parties have 30 days to appeal the final order to the Hawai‘i Circuit Court. The order will remain in effect unless it is stayed by a court.

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