Navy Cleaning Two Red Hill Fuel Tanks, Testing for Petroleum Residue

July 2, 2024 9:12 PM
Navy Closure Task Force-Red Hill (NCTF-RH) contractors work in front of an open eight-foot manway after removing the tank cover at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility (RHBFSF) in Halawa, Hawaii, June 13, 2024. US Navy Photo

The Navy Closure Task Force – Red Hill began cleaning out sludge from fuel tanks seven and eight last week, the service announced Thursday.

Cleaning out sludge from the tanks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility is one of the steps required before the Navy can completely close down the facility, using a closure-in-place plan that would allow the facility to be used in the future as storage for something besides fuel, USNI News has previously reported.

The Navy also laid out a plan for sampling the facilities and infrastructure at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility and sent it for approval from the Environmental Protection Agency and Hawaii Department of Health Friday, according to a release from the Navy Closure Task Force.

Under the sampling plan, the task force will collect samples from the tunnels, the former power plant and surge tanks, among other parts of the facility. Samples are being done to verify if there is the presence of petroleum remaining in the tanks, according to the supplement.

The plan is part of the third supplement the Navy has issued as part of its plan for closing the fuel storage facility. The Navy Closure Task Force took over at the end of March once the majority of defueling finished.

“The development of a sound sampling and analysis process is the first in a series of integral steps toward defining the Navy’s approach to long-term environmental remediation,” reads a task force release on the supplement.

Prior to the sludge removal of the two tanks, the closure task force cleaned and ventilated them, according to another release. Tank 8 was finished in mid-June while tank seven was finished toward the end of the month.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
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