An update from Joint Task Force-Red Hill
News Release from PACOM, 20 October 2022
HONOLULU - On Oct. 14, water main breaks in the Navy system supporting Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) caused a delay in Joint Task Force-Red Hill's (JTF-RH) timeline to conduct unpacking operations—removal of approximately 1 million gallons of fuel in the pipelines to enable planned repairs, modifications and enhancements to decrease risk for the larger defueling effort.
On Oct. 19, JBPHH completed repairs to the water main and is now working to confirm that the water system has the necessary capacity and capability to support emergency response efforts. With that confirmation, JTF-RH will complete preparations for unpacking on Oct. 24, including final valve checks and pressure equalization. The unpacking of the lines is scheduled to begin Oct. 25. JTF-RH remains committed to safely and expeditiously defueling the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, and will continue to provide updates to all stakeholders.
JTF-RH will conduct a media availability prior to conducting unpacking operations. Stay up to date with JTF-RH news and information at: https://www.pacom.mil/JTF-Red-Hill/
SA: Navy reschedules defueling of Red Hill pipes
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Red Hill Pipeline Defueling Delayed Due to Water Main Break
by Heather Mongilio, USNI News, October 17, 2022
A water main break on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham Hawaii, has caused the Navy to delay the first step of removing approximately 1.16 million gallons of fuel from the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.
The Navy was supposed to start unpacking fuel from three pipelines Monday, but the Friday water main break affected the systems that would be used for removing the fuel, Cmdr. Tiffani Walker, a spokesperson for Joint Task Force – Red Hill, said in a statement to USNI News.
Unpacking is expected to start this week, although a date has not been nailed down, Walker said in an email.
Removing the fuel from the three pipelines is the second phase of the Department of Defense’s plan to completely defuel Red Hill. According to the most updated plan, the DoD projects it will completely remove all fuel by July 2024, although it included shortened timelines in its most recent supplement.
There are three types of fuel that the Navy will unpack this week. There are about 162,000 gallons of F-24, a commercial grade jet fuel, approximately 216,000 gallons of JP-5, a kerosene-based jet fuel, and around 691,000 gallons of F-76, a maritime diesel fuel, in the three lines, according to a fact sheet on the unpacking, according to the fact sheet.
To remove the fuel from the pipes, the Navy will slowly open up a valve and use gravity to flow the fuel to a tank farm on the Pearl Harbor side of the base and into permanent holding tanks or fuel barges, Capt. Shawn Triggs, the commander of the Naval Supply Systems Command under the Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor, said in a video on the unpacking.
The fuel will flow through the upper tunnel, lower tunnel and harbor tunnel on the base, according to the video.
It will take one day each for the F-24 and J-5 pipelines and two days for the F-76 pipeline, according to the fact sheet.
Once the fuel is removed from the pipes, the Navy will use pumps to get any remaining fuel from the lines that did not come out, according to the fact sheet.
The pipeline defueling phase of the plan was approved by the Hawaii Department of Health. The Navy has conducted spill accident exercises and training to ensure that the fuel is removed safely, according to the fact sheet.