Thursday, June 30, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Congressional Delegation Squeezes Navy on Fuel Leak
By News Release @ 6:03 PM :: 1301 Views :: Honolulu County, Environment, Congressional Delegation, Military

Hawai‘i Congressional Delegation Calls On Navy To Improve Accountability To Public On Hawai‘i Fuel Operations, Plans To Ensure Health And Safety Of Oahu Residents

News Release from Hawaii Congressional Delegation, Nov 1, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Representatives Ed Case (D-Hawai‘i) and Kaiali‘i Kahele (D-Hawai‘i) today called on the Navy to provide more information on the March 2020 fuel leak near Hotel Pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. In a letter to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, the delegation also requested more details on the Navy’s response to discovering the leak, including its compliance with reporting requirements and any potential information that may have been withheld from the public as part of an oversight effort to improve the Navy’s accountability to the public on its broader fuel operations in Hawai‘i.

“We are particularly troubled about reports of a fuel leak near Hotel Pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) that occurred in March 2020 and allegations that the Navy was not appropriately forthcoming about the source and scale of the fuel leak with state regulators, federal officials, and the public—including our offices,” the delegation wrote. “These recent incidents, including the manner in which the Navy has responded to them and its lack of transparency with the public, raise questions about the seriousness with which the Navy takes its responsibility to communicate clearly with the public about matters concerning health and safety. The people of Hawai‘i deserve better from the Navy.”

The full text of the letter is available here and can be found below.

  *   *   *   *   *

Dear Secretary Del Toro,

We write with increasing concerns about the safety of the Navy’s fuel operations in Hawai‘i.  We are particularly troubled about reports of a fuel leak near Hotel Pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) that occurred in March 2020 and allegations that the Navy was not appropriately forthcoming about the source and scale of the fuel leak with state regulators, federal officials, and the public—including our offices.

The Navy made a commitment to engage the people of Hawai‘i through town halls and neighborhood boards, to brief state regulators and officials, and to keep lines of communication open with the Hawai‘i Congressional delegation about what the Navy is doing to remain good stewards of the environment. That is why we were disappointed to initially learn about the Hotel Pier fuel leak in the press instead of hearing from Navy leadership directly.

The Navy’s decision not to publicly acknowledge the Hotel Pier fuel leak and explain what it is doing to prevent future leaks is inconsistent with the commitment past secretaries of the Navy have made to the people of Hawai‘i to remain transparent on all matters that could affect our environmental resources. Further, it follows a May 6 fuel leak at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in which the Navy initially told the public that no fuel released into the environment, a statement we learned not to be accurate once the Navy discovered the full extent of the spill. These recent incidents, including the manner in which the Navy has responded to them and its lack of transparency with the public, raise questions about the seriousness with which the Navy takes its responsibility to communicate clearly with the public about matters concerning health and safety. The people of Hawai‘i deserve better from the Navy.

As it relates to the Hotel Pier incident, we have specific concerns that call into question how the Navy is operating and conducting oversight of its fuel operations in Hawai‘i. We are requesting timely and thorough answers to the following questions:

What procedures did Navy officials use to discover the source and scope of the Hotel Pier leak and did those procedures follow Navy safeguards and testing standards that it has established to improve the safety of its fuel operations in response to other spills?

Did the Navy comply with all of its fuel release reporting requirements related to this incident and did it provide timely information to state regulators, including information that may have been relevant to the Red Hill operating permit hearing officer?

What is the total volume of fuel released at Hotel Pier and what has the Navy done to clean up and remediate the impacted area?

What evidence, if any, is there that Navy officials withheld information about the Hotel Pier leak that would have been material to the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s consideration to renew the Red Hill operating permit?

What follow-on actions is the Navy conducting to identify other potential points of failure in its fuel operations, including the pipeline systems at or around JBPHH, that could result in a hazardous fuel leak? and

What, if any, relationship does the Hotel Pier pipeline have to the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility and what implications could this have for the existing facility improvement plan, including those required by state and federal regulators?

The Navy must continue to improve the management and oversight of its operations, and provide timely and accurate information to state and federal regulators to ensure that its fuel activities do not pose a risk to the health and safety of the people of Hawai‘i. To that end, we expect that you will provide thorough and timely responses to the questions described above, and if any wrongdoing is uncovered, that you will subsequently take appropriate accountability action.

We respectfully request a member-level delegation meeting to discuss how the Navy is operating and conducting oversight of its fuel operations in Hawai‘i, including the steps it is taking to ensure public health and safety, no later than December 3, 2021. Thank you for your consideration of this request. We look forward to discussing this matter further.  

---30---

CB: Congressional Delegation Calls For Investigation Into Red Hill Pipeline Leak At Pearl Harbor

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT