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Military says 700 gallons of diesel fuel spilled at Haleakalā facility

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About 700 gallons of diesel fuel spilled Sunday night at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex, part of a military research facility at the summit of Haleakalā, the U.S. Space Force said Tuesday night. It's the latest fuel spill involving the U.S. military in Hawaiʻi.

The military said a backup generator's fuel pump failed to shut off due to a mechanical issue. By the time a worker discovered and stopped the pump Monday morning, "approximately 700 gallons" had leaked, the U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific news release said.

There were no injuries and the incident is under investigation. Fuel spill experts from the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center will assess the site to begin remediation efforts, the Space Force said.

The agency said it notified the state Department of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In a statement, Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir, commander of U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific, said the military will work with local and federal officials to clean up the area.

“Haleakalā plays a crucial role in the ecosystem of Maui Island, and any contamination of our water sources and natural resources could have devastating effects," state Sen. Lynn DeCoite of Maui County said in a statement. "I will be monitoring this situation very closely."

DeCoite said she would contact regulators and the Space Force to ensure their investigation is transparent and that they update the community on their findings.

Located about 10,000 feet above sea level, the Maui Space Surveillance Complex hosts the military's largest optical telescope, designed for tracking satellites.

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