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    Red Hill Task Force Expands Scope After Toxic Foam Spill

    Red Hill Task Force Expands Scope After Toxic Foam Spill

    Task Red Hill, the organization tasked with defueling the massive fuel tanks at the Navy's underground Red Hill fuel facility, has expanded its scope of operations after a spill of toxic firefighting foam in November. Vice Adm. John Wade, the officer leading the task force, made the announcement during a panel at the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Council Partnership Conference on Wednesday.

    JTF Red Hill originally was formed to focus entirely on defueling the tanks, which sit just 100 feet above a critical aquifer that most of  depends on for drinking water, with the shutdown of the facility and day-to-day operations of the site being handled by other military organizations and contractors.

    “Now, not one activity occurs in that building without a review by my team and approval by me, ” said Wade. “If any activity has high risk, there's a concept of operations that's briefed to me personally. And if it says a significant level, it is briefed to Admiral (John ) Aquilino with a report to the secretary of defense.”

    Wade said that he also has requested more manpower on the site to provide more oversight of day-to-day operations of the facility, telling attendees at the conference “there has not been what I would call sufficient controls … there have been activities throughout the facility, again, all well-­intentioned, but by different organizations with no integrated…

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