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Quick Look: Red Hill Defueling Supplement #3, Nov. 14, 2023



[See original document here]


The "Red Hill Defueling Plan Supplement 3" document outlines the comprehensive plan and updates for the defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility (RHBFSF). The plan is executed by the Joint Task Force Red Hill (JTF-RH) and involves various phases, organizational structures, and specific strategies to safely and efficiently defuel the facility while ensuring environmental safety and regulatory compliance.

The document details the bifurcation of Phase 5 of the defueling process into two sub-phases, 5.A and 5.B. Phase 5.A encompasses gravity-based defueling of the facility's 20 underground fuel storage tanks, four surge tanks, and associated pipelines. This phase is divided into three steps: defueling tank mains, defueling flowable tank bottoms, and unpacking pipelines. Phase 5.B is focused on the non-destructive removal of residual fuel, estimated at about 60,000 gallons, from the Surge Lines and portions of the Tank Gallery. The residual fuel that cannot be removed without facility demolition, approximately 4,000 gallons, will be addressed in the closure mission by the Navy Closure Task Force – Red Hill (NCTF-RH).

The transition from JTF-RH to NCTF-RH for facility closure is a critical part of the plan. The transition is conditions-based and driven by JTF-RH’s defueling timeline, with NCTF-RH assuming responsibility for approximately 4,000 gallons of inaccessible residual fuel and around 28,000 gallons of sludge separate from the residual fuel in pipelines. The document emphasizes the importance of synchronized and coordinated transition between JTF-RH and NCTF-RH, highlighting various milestones, objectives, responsibilities, and strategic engagements.


Key points from the document include:

  • Establishment of JTF-RH for safe and expedited defueling of RHBFSF and rebuilding trust with the State of Hawaii.

  • Phased defueling process with Phase 5 divided into two sub-phases: 5.A (gravity-based defueling) and 5.B (non-destructive residual fuel removal).

  • Transition from JTF-RH to NCTF-RH for closure of the facility, with NCTF-RH handling the removal of inaccessible residual fuel and sludge.

  • Detailed strategies for each phase, including environmental safety measures and regulatory compliance.

  • Continuous community engagement and transparent communication to maintain public trust and provide updates on the progress of the defueling and closure process.


Details of Phase 5

  • Phase 5 is bifurcated into 5.A and 5.B. Phase 5.A involves gravity-based defueling of 20 underground fuel storage tanks, four surge tanks, and associated pipelines. Phase 5.B focuses on non-destructive removal of residual fuel. Approximately 4,000 gallons of inaccessible residual fuel will be addressed during the facility's closure.


Handling Residual Fuel

  • Phase 5.B of the defueling process involves removing all residual fuel that can be extracted without demolishing the facility infrastructure.

  • Approximately 64,000 gallons of residual fuel, which cannot be removed via gravity, requires active measures for removal.

  • Some residual fuel requires demolition or other destructive work, necessitating associated environmental safety measures. This part of the process will be handled as part of the permanent closure of the facility​​.

Due Dates


Phase 5.A Dates:

  • Completion of Tank Main defueling by November 18, 2023.

  • Completion of Flowable Tank Bottoms defueling by December 15, 2023.

  • Unpacking of the Pipelines by January 19, 2024.


EPA Monthly Report and Phase 5B Residual Fuel End Dates:

  • EPA Monthly Reports due on 11/15, 12/15/23, 1/15, 1/23, 2/15, 3/15/24.

  • End of Phase 5B Residual Fuel by April 1.

  • Final Defueling Report submission to EPA by April 10, 2024.

  • EPA Final Defueling Completion Walkthrough Inspection and Certification of Completion by April 20.

Completion of Defueling and Transition:

  • Defueling Phase 5.B completion by March 31, 2024, and NCTF-RH will assume C2 for the Red Hill JOA and begin closure and remediation of RHBFSF on or around April 1, 2024.



[See original document here]

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