The secretary of the Navy has issued letters of censure to three admirals who were overseeing the service's Red Hill fuel storage facility in Hawaii at the time of massive fuel spills that contaminated the surrounding military community's water supply.
Carlos Del Toro censured three flag officers, who are all now retired from the service: Rear Adm. Peter Stamatopoulos, who oversaw Naval Supply Systems Command at the time; Rear Adm. John Korka, who led Navy Facilities Engineering Command; and Rear Adm. Timothy Kott, who was the commander of Navy Region Hawaii.
“Taking accountability is a step in restoring the trust in our relationship with the community,” Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said in a statement on the move released Thursday. “What happened was not acceptable, and the Department of the Navy will continue to take every action to identify and remedy this issue.”
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However, the overall effect of the move toward accountability was at least partially blunted now that all three former officers are retired. The water contamination caused by the Red Hill spill caused litigation over widespread health concerns and the decommissioning of the facility, both of which are still ongoing.
In his letter to Stamatopoulos, Del Toro faulted the admiral for failing to put out guidance on what training and…