Joint Task Force to begin an environmental assessment for defueling Red Hill
Another small step forward has been taken by the Department of Defense to ensure water safety at Red Hill.
The DOD's Joint Task Force - Red Hill will begin the environmental assessment process for defueling the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility this month.
“By understanding the possible environmental effects of our proposed actions, we will be able to use best practices and minimize impacts, ensuring we are good stewards of the environment," Vice Adm. John Wade, the DOD's task force commander, said in a written statement.
Wade was appointed to be the commander of Joint Task Force Red Hill after U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Hawaiʻi last September to tour the tanks.
The DOD stated that the environmental assessment is necessary in order to comply with the Secretary of Defense's order to defuel Red Hill by 2024.
"We will also ensure that the public is informed about any environmental effects considered in the decision-making process," he continued.
The fuel is owned by the Defense Logistics Agency and will be distributed under the direction of the Pentagon.
The environmental assessment will analyze the potential impacts of relocating the remaining 104 million gallons of fuel by tanker ship. The first draft is expected to be completed by June.
The Defense Department's Joint Task Force - Red Hill said they will then post the assessment online and open up a time to receive feedback from the public.
The official start date of the environmental assessment will be next week, and the final draft is expected to be completed by the end of August.