Navy Notifies Regulators of Groundwater PFAS Detection
News Release from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, HI, UNITED STATES 11.28.2023
The Navy received recent testing results of 21 baseline Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from groundwater monitoring wells in the vicinity of Red Hill. Four of those 21 groundwater monitoring wells showed exceedance of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), a component of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The Navy notified the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) of the results. The baseline sampling was conducted with the regulators following the Red Hill Adit 6 aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) release in November 2022.
The Navy’s water system, which continues to meet regulatory requirements and remains safe to drink, is sourced solely from the Waiawa Shaft, approximately 6 miles from Red Hill. Results from ongoing long-term monitoring show the drinking water is safe. The Waiawa Shaft was most recently sampled on Oct. 24 and did not detect PFAS.
Groundwater samples were sent off-island to EPA-certified laboratories for testing. Test results were shared with the EPA and Hawaii DOH and will be made available here for public information: JBPHH-safewaters.org
The profiles of the PFOS in the groundwater monitoring wells do not match that of the November 2022 AFFF release.
The Navy is committed to protecting the environment and the community. Part of our stewardship of the land and water is to actively identify contaminants and address them through remediation. This report is the first step in this process, and we are coordinating closely with regulators on the remediation, and other aspects of environmental concern as we work together toward the permanent closure of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.
According to the EPA, PFAS, which have been used for decades, are fluorinated organic chemicals that have been used extensively in materials such as household products (cleaning products; non-stick cookware; personal care products; food packaging; stain and water-repellent used on carpets, upholstery, clothes and other fabrics, and more) and are also a component of fire-fighting foam and have many industrial uses.
More information on PFAS can be found at "PFAS HOME NAV".
More information on drinking water quality and Red Hill environmental topics can be found at jbphh-safewaters.org.
More information on the closure and remediation of Red Hill can be found at "Red-Hill/DEPARTMENT-OF-DEFENSE-CLOSURE-PLAN"
CB: Navy: Toxic Forever Chemicals Detected In Groundwater Near Red Hill