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Health department probes Navy to release findings from fuel leak investigation

Navy Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility
Shannon Haney/Naval Supply Systems Command Fle
U.S. Navy
(Jan. 26, 2018) A tunnel inside of the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility. (U.S. Navy Photo/Released)

The state Department of Health has asked the Navy when it will make public the results of an investigation into fuel leaks at the Red Hill fuel depot. DOH officials sent a letter Tuesday after verbally requesting an update last week.

Following fuel leaks at Red Hill in May and November of last year, the Commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Samuel Paparo, ordered a command investigation into the incidents.

At a congressional hearing on Jan. 11, Rear Admiral Blake Converse, deputy commander of Pacific Fleet, told lawmakers that the investigation was in its final stages and a report would be submitted to Navy officials for review.

"That holistic investigation of the fuel spills and the water contamination will be submitted to U.S. Pacific Fleet on or about Jan. 14," he said.

Since then, there has been no indication as to when the report might be released, and in what form.

Rear Admiral Charlie Brown, Navy Chief of Information, said in a statement that the report was submitted on Jan. 14, and is being reviewed.

He said he expected the Navy to release a summary of the report to the public.

DOH Deputy Director Kathleen Ho sent a letter Tuesday to Rear Admiral Timothy Kott, the commander of Navy Region Hawaiʻi.

In the letter, she says she spoke with Converse last week and asked him for an update on the timeline to complete the review process and make the results public.

Ho asked for a copy of the investigation report, as well as documents related to any separate probes into the leaks.

Read below the full letter sent to the Navy.

Scott Kim is a news editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Contact him at
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