Saturday, July 25, 2015
Empty the tanks at Navy’s Red Hill storage facility before it’s too late
A former fuel systems analyst who worked at the Navy's Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility for nearly 40 years has come forward with documentation that shows the release of jet fuel from Tank No. 5 may be closer to 40,000 gallons, not the 27,000 gallons originally reported.--KITV
by Larry Geller
Since I suggested that the Red Hill fuel tanks needed to be pumped dry in Why is toxic fuel allowed to sit on top of our aquifer anyway?? The public speaks out (videos) (6/15/2015), new information has come to light.
It is always good practice to evaluate downside risk before undertaking a questionable activity (like re-filling the Navy’s tanks in Red Hill). In this case, the risk is the contamination of 25% of Oahu’s drinking water.
Someone needs to put their foot down and eliminate that risk. It won’t be the Navy. From the KITV story, reporting on a report released by a whistleblower that the leak was much larger than the 27,000 gallons reported earlier, which was scary enough:
… Tank No. 5 was filled from Dec. 9 to Dec. 12 to the 105-foot level without allowing enough time to check for leaks. Red Hill operators continued to fill the tank to the 225-foot level while ignoring 10 separate alarms that signified the unscheduled movement of fuel, or in other words, a possible leak. The first alarm sounded on Dec. 10, one day after filling of the tank began, yet surprisingly it took operators at Red Hill 33 days to finally recognize the alarms were legitimate.
[KITV, Whistleblower says Red Hill leak may be closer to 40,000 gallons, 7/22/2015]
These do not appear to me to be folks who should be trusted to protect our drinking water.
As far as an agreement to install technology to detect leaks, or upgrading the tanks over 22 years… wouldn’t that be unacceptable in view of the danger to the aquifer? An aquifer cannot be cleaned up once it is polluted.
There is one safe option: empty the tanks and clean up what has leaked already. Find someplace else to pollute, far from our drinking water.