Navy seeks to contest Hawaii health officials’ order to halt operations at fuel site linked to contaminated tap water

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Health Department spokeswoman Katie Arita-Chang said the Navy requested a continuation of the order and was in talks with state health officials.

order to stop operations on Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility It was released on Monday amid a tainted water crisis that has forced more than 700 people from their homes and sickened families.
Red Hill sits fuel facility 100 feet up Red Hill Aquifer — Who Supplies drinking water Joint base at Pearl Harbor-Hickam and other areas of Hawaii.
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The test revealed petroleum hydrocarbons and vapors in the water, the Navy said on Friday.

On Sunday, Rear Admiral Blake Converse, deputy commander of the US Pacific Fleet, confirmed that the cause was a petroleum leak.


‘You have failed the community’

The Navy said it closed its Red Hill water well on November 28, when families living at the base reported symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and skin concerns.

“My house smelled like a gas station and I couldn’t breathe. I was suffocating,” said resident Bonnie Russell. Granthshala affiliate KGMB/KHNL, “I opened all the windows for ventilation, but it still took a long time for the smoke to clear.”
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The military has offered alternative accommodation for all service members and civilian employees living near the base. As of Sunday, Converse said the military was covering the cost of hotel rooms for more than 700 people.

“I also want to say how disappointed I am at how you have failed the community,” KGMB/KHNL resident Christie Clifford told officials at a town hall meeting last week.

According to KGMB/KHNL, a woman told the military personnel, “On Sunday my children took a bath and after that they complained of skin irritation for 45 minutes. On Monday I became ill and had been feeling dizzy since then. “

During a separate town hall with Navy officials on Sunday, residents described a range of symptoms.

“I’m here to ask that when I was bathing my 13-month-old son, when I was giving him a sippy cup full of water from my tap, when he was throwing up, you my 13-month-old son Why wasn’t there a wingman to protect her. For the last days,” said one woman, who did not give her name.

“I’m here to ask why you weren’t my wingman as my husband and I had mysterious severe symptoms like sore throat, burning in my stomach, profuse, unusual sweating, headache unable to subside, multiple ER Visits are required. Additional medications, vomiting, diarrhea, skin irritation,” the woman asked the Navy officials.

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Attendees seeking more transparency from the Navy also expressed their dismay at finding temporary housing and sought information about the environmental impact of diverting contaminated water from pipes.

On Monday, Navy Secretary Carlos del Toro visited the fuel storage facility and said the Navy was getting closer to determining the root cause of water pollution.

“The cause of this incident is under investigation by the US Pacific Fleet,” del Toro said.

“Once that investigation is complete, we will review those findings and adjust our operating procedures as needed.”

But the top priority is to take care of those affected by water pollution, said Naval Operations Chief Michael Gilday.

“It includes medical care. It includes food and includes water,” Gilday said Monday.

The Navy hopes to restore water service to residents soon, but “the important point here is that fixing it is more important than doing it fast,” Gilday said.

State demands speedy action

State health officials want more than a halt to the fuel storage facility’s operations. According to Government David IgeIn the order of the Department of Health, the Navy also stated:
  • Install a drinking water treatment system at Red Hill Well, which was shut down on November 28 after residents reported symptoms
  • Submit an action plan to assess system integrity
  • Defuel Red Hill underground storage tanks within 30 days of corrective action
“The well-being of Hawaii and the safety of our residents, including military families, must come first. We cannot have national security without ensuring public health and safety,” the governor said. tweeted,

“There are still important questions that need to be answered and the order will help get there.”

Honolulu shuts down its largest water source in Oahu due to alleged contamination of a naval well near Pearl Harbor

BWS Manager and Chief Engineer Ernest Lau told Granthshala that the Honolulu Board of Water Supply is encouraging the Navy to extract fuel from the Red Hill storage facility.

Lau suspended the operation of the pudding shaft on Thursday. The shaft is Oahu’s largest water source that serves Honolulu residents and draws from the same aquifer as the Navy’s Red Hill well.

Lau said he would not resume operations at Halva until the fuel was removed from Red Hill.

Honolulu now relies on its other wells to maintain water service to its customers, which Lau said is not a major problem during the current wet season. But arrangements can be stressful in the summer months.

Granthshala’s Jen Selva, Jack Hannah and Kelly McCleary contributed to this report.


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