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Quick Look: Red Hill WAI Report, April 28, 2023

Updated: Jan 21

[See the original document here]

What is Red Hill WAI?

The Water Alliance Initiative (WAI) is a collaborative effort of State and City leaders aimed at addressing water-related issues, focusing on areas such as water quality, water resource management, and the protection and restoration of water systems.

Key components of the Water Alliance Initiative:

  • Water Quality Improvement: Addressing pollution and contamination issues ensuring safe and clean water for our island community.

  • Conservation and Sustainable Use: Promoting the efficient and sustainable use of water resources to ensure their availability for our descendants.

  • Ecosystem Restoration: Working towards the restoration and preservation of aquatic ecosystems, which are vital for maintaining the biodiversity and ecological balance.

  • Community Engagement and Education: Raising awareness about water issues and involving local communities in water conservation and management actions.

  • Research and Innovation: Encouraging research in water technologies and innovative practices to improve water management, conservation, and treatment.

  • Policy and Governance: Make a positive impact on water-related policies and practices at various levels to ensure sustainable water management and protection.

  • Partnerships and Collaboration: Encourage partnerships among different sectors and stakeholders to leverage resources and expertise for more effective water management.

The Report

The 2023 Red Hill Water Alliance Initiative (WAI) Report addresses aquifer contamination and environmental issues associated with the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. Key points from the document include:

  • Legal Responsibility and Claims: The U.S. Department of Defense is held responsible for contamination from the facility, with calls for indemnification against claims and liabilities arising from its operation.

  • Historical Context: The facility's history is detailed, beginning with strategic military considerations in the Pacific and the construction of Pearl Harbor's naval base. The Red Hill facility was developed during World War II, with emphasis on its secretive and expedited construction, innovative vertical tank design, and lack of environmental safeguards.

  • Environmental Impact and Spills: Documented leaks and spills since the 1940s are discussed, including significant incidents in 2013 and 2021 that led to contamination of water sources. The estimated volume of leaked fuel ranges between 644,000 gallons and 1.94 million gallons.

  • Remediation and Restoration Efforts: Focus on the need for extensive remediation due to the facility's history of spills and the complexity of the geology beneath it. The report discusses various strategies for addressing contamination, including bioremediation and monitoring natural attenuation.

  • Public Health and Environmental Concerns: Highlights the impact of fuel contamination on public health, water resources, and the ecosystem. It emphasizes the need for monitoring, testing, and comprehensive remediation strategies to mitigate these impacts.

  • Closure and Defueling Process: Describes the process for defueling the facility, with an estimated completion in April 2024, and outlines a three-phase approach for remediation, including information gathering, field testing, and full implementation.

  • Risk Assessment and Monitoring: Discusses the importance of understanding the extent of contamination and the movement of contaminants for effective risk assessment and remediation planning.

  • Ecosystem Approach: Proposes an ecosystem approach for assessing the impact on both land and water resources, with specific attention to the health of the Hālawa Stream ecosystem and surrounding areas.

  • Research and Development: Emphasizes the need for ongoing research, including laboratory tests, to understand the extent of contamination and develop effective remediation strategies.

  • Future Directions: The report suggests future actions, including detailed investigation, development of groundwater models, and innovative remediation techniques.

See the final Red Hill WAI Report

2023-11-28 RELEASE - Final Red Hill WAI Report Issued
Download PDF • 269KB


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