Navy Releases Red Hill Fuel Leak Investigation

Naval leaders respond to the report showing multiple errors.

Last week, the U.S. Navy released their investigation report into the fuel leak at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility that poisoned the local drinking water. In May 2021, the trouble began when operator error caused a pipe to rupture during a transfer of jet fuel between tanks. Twenty thousand gallons of fuel spilled into a fire suppression line, where it sat for six months before a cart rammed into it. The Red Hill team worked quickly to clean up the mess but lost track of about 5,000 gallons (19,000 liters) of fuel during the cleanup. 

“The team incorrectly assumes that all of the fuel has been sopped up,” commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Admiral Sam Paparo summarized. He stated that the spill seeped into the Red Hill well over the course of eight days. He added, “We cannot assume Red Hill represents an outlier, and similar problems may exist at other locations.”

While the spill did not enter Honolulu’s water supply, six thousand people were sickened or experienced symptoms from the contamination of the Navy’s water system.

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William Lescher stated that the response fell “unacceptably short of the Navy standards for leadership, ownership, and the safeguarding of our communities.“

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Secretary Del Toro as he heads the Navy and Marines.
  • For Navy officials as they respond to the report and take appropriate action to prevent future spills.
  • For complete healing for those whose health was impacted by the pollution of the water system and well.

Sources:, CBS News


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