Joint Task Force – Red Hill finished removing fuel from surge tanks Friday, the task force announced in a Friday news release.
Removing the 480,000 gallons of fuel from the underground surge tanks is one of the steps needed in order to completely defuel the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. The surge tanks were service tanks, which means they were not involved in the process of defueling the facility’s main tanks, USNI News previously reported.
The fuel removed from the surge tanks will be stored in above-ground tanks at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham, where it can continue to be used for military operations, according to the release.
“The successful removal of fuel from the surge tanks gives us confidence that our training and enhanced safety precautions and protocols are working,” Vice Adm. John Wade said in the release. “We remain on plan to begin gravity defueling of the main storage tanks in October 2023.”
The joint task force will next repack the fuel lines, a step to defueling the main tanks, slated to begin in August, according to the release.
While the Joint Task Force defueled the surge tanks, it also hosted a number of legislators from Hawaii and Congress’s special committee on Red Hill, according to a news release last week.
The Joint Task Force is still in the process of getting a the remainder of repairs validated by a third party, according to the defueling dashboard. So far, 246 out of 253 repairs have. been validated and submitted to the Hawaii Department of Health for approval.
The department has approved 180 repairs so far.