This story has been updated to correct the amount of fuel repacked and the date of NEPA completion.
Joint Task Force – Red Hill finished repacking fuel lines, a necessary step before complete defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility can commence next month.
Repacking fuel lines involves removing air from pipelines and putting fuel in them in order to allow for stable defueling, according to a news release from the joint task force. The joint task force repacked approximately 380,000 gallons of fuel into the pipelines.
“With the successful completion of repacking, we’re one step closer to defueling Red Hill,” Vice Adm. John Wade, commander of Joint Task Force – Red Hill, said in the release. “I’m proud of the thorough preparation and safe execution by all involved.”
Repacking allows the task force to reverse the flow of fuel if there is an issue, according to the notes from the Sept. 2 Defueling Information Sharing Forum.
Defueling is expected to begin Oct. 16, USNI News previously reported. During the repacking process, the task force identified and completed one repair to the pipelines.
Red Hill’s National Environmental Protection Act process finished Aug. 31, with 29 comments accepted from the public, according to the meeting notes. The comments are included in the report’s appendix.
All 253 repairs identified have been fixed with conditional approval granted by the Environemtal Protection Agency and the Hawaii Department of Health.