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Friday, May 31, 2024
Red Hill Tanks to be Vented and Cleaned
By News Release @ 4:38 PM :: 656 Views :: Honolulu County, Environment, Military

DOH Conditionally Approves Red Hill Air Quality Monitoring Plan

News Release from Hawaii DoH, May 30, 2024

HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) conditionally approved the Navy Closure Task Force – Red Hill (NCTF-RH) Air Quality Monitoring (AQM) Plan, which will be implemented during the cleaning and venting of the primary tanks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. DOH used its authority under its May 2022 Emergency Order to require the Navy to develop a comprehensive Tank Cleaning Ventilation Air Quality Monitoring Plan that meets department requirements to protect public health.

NCTF-RH submitted the AQM Plan to DOH by letters, dated April 12, May 13, and May 28, 2024. The AQM Plan included a required air quality model to demonstrate that emissions should not exceed levels harmful to public health. DOH is also requiring air monitoring to ensure that fuel tank cleaning and venting operations are performed in a manner that protects our communities.

The DOH reviewed the submittals and identified conditions for the AQM Plan that NCTF-RH is required to meet prior to and during venting activities. The required conditions are listed in DOH’s May 29 conditional approval letter and include:

  • Notification to the public at least 12 hours before the start of venting a tank.
  • Continuous measuring and recording of total volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions at the exhaust vent and total VOC concentrations at nine air monitor locations in and around the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility approved by the DOH (see map below).
  • Near real-time reporting of air monitoring data to the public, including date, time, and total VOC concentration, in parts per million by volume (ppmv), for each one-hour averaging period.
  • Immediate notification to DOH if there is an exceedance of Exposure Duration Limits, as identified in the DOH May 17, 2024 letter.
  • Ceasing active venting and notifying DOH if the one-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA) of total VOC concentration exceeds 20 ppmv at the exhaust vent.
  • Ceasing active venting and notifying DOH and the public if the one-hour TWA of total VOC concentrations at any of the nine air monitors exceeds the acute Exposure Duration Limit of 38 ppmv. Should an exceedance occur, NCTF-RH will also need to seek and receive DOH approval before restarting active ventilation.
  • Limiting the number of tanks that may be vented in a calendar year to six.
  • Limiting the number of tanks that may be vented at any time to two.
  • Notification to DOH within 24 hours of starting to vent a second tank.

Click here for a copy of DOH’s April 22 letter.

Click here for a copy of DOH’s May 17 letter.

Click here for a copy of DOH’s May 29 letter.

# # #

SA: Navy’s Red Hill tank ventilation rattles some residents -- The CRI put out a public notice Wednesday night that said venting operations would begin the next day and will continue until all 14 tanks that held fuel are degassed, with operations set to take place daily between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.

SN: Navy will start tank cleaning operations at Red Hill

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