Navy Brings Red Hill Tank 5 Back into Service After Extensive Testing and Procedural Changes
News Release from US EPA,March 11, 2020
The U.S. Navy (Navy) and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) have notified the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that they are bringing Tank 5 back into service at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.
In early 2014, a release was identified from Red Hill Tank 5. This release occurred during the refilling process after the tank was cleaned, inspected, and repaired. This release prompted EPA and Hawaii Department of Health to significantly increase our oversight of the facility. The cause for the release was identified as repairs with faulty welds.
Since 2014, Tank 5 has remained out of service, and has undergone extensive evaluation, repairs, and testing. The Navy has made significant changes to their inspection, repair, and quality control processes as well as improved their approach to quality assurance of their contractor’s work.
In contrast to the filling process in 2014, the Tank is being filled very slowly, with numerous points throughout the process where filling is stopped, and testing for leaks is performed. The Navy is prepared for emergency draining of the tank if a leak is identified by having adequate empty capacity available in other tanks. This is in sharp contrast to the events of 2014 when the tank was filled rapidly with limited testing and the inability to address leaks quickly.
EPA and Hawaii Department of Health are monitoring the process of bringing Tank 5 back into service in order to prevent repeat of mistakes made in 2014.
For more information on the facility please visit www.epa.gov/red-hill.
SA: Red Hill tank that leaked fuel being brought back into service