Navy: Drinking water in Red Hill safe after fuel leak

The U.S. Navy assured lawmakers during a hearing Friday that the drinking water in the Red Hill area is safe. More than 20,000 gallons of fuel leaked from one of the Navy’s fuel tanks in January.

Officials maintain that tests show the fuel did not get into drinking water wells, but lawmakers are still concerned.

“Though it’s been stated that the tanks are 70 years old, there’s thorough maintenance that they undergo,” said Lt. Cmdr. Angela Watson of U.S. Navy. “They have been constantly upgraded and that puts them in a condition that allows them to remain serviceable.”

“There’s soil tests have shown that there have been releases from the tanks, so that has got to be a huge warning signal and I believe we need to start the discussion saying to Congress that this is a unique oil storage area and we need to upgrade it because the alternative is unthinkable,” said state Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R-Kailua).

The Navy is continuing to work with the state health department and the Board of Water Supply to ensure the safety of drinking water.

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