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    Military Begins Removal of ‘Residual’ Fuel at Red Hill

    Military Begins Removal of ‘Residual' Fuel at Red Hill

    The began removing “residual” fuel from the Navy's underground Red Hill Fuel Farm on Monday, marking the beginning of the next phase of the facility's closure.

    The start of residual fuel removal coincides with the establishment of the Navy Closure Task -Red Hill. From now until the end of March, the new task force will work in conjunction with the existing Task Force-Red Hill to “ensure continuity of mission for safety, security and community engagement,” according to a news release, before it eventually oversees the long-term closure and environmental remediation of the facility, which sits 100 feet above an aquifer that most of Honolulu relies on for drinking water.

    “We're starting a deliberate methodical transition with the new Navy Closure Task Force,” Vice Adm. John Wade, commander of JTF-RH, the organization tasked with extracting fuel from the facility, said. “They're tied to our hip and learning from us for everything that we're doing for safety, security and community engagement to ensure continuity of mission when we secure our task force, and they will take this mission on.”

    JTF-RH safely removed approximately 104 million gallons of fuel through “gravity defueling” from Oct. 16 to Dec. 16. Throughout the gravity defueling process, Wade said that there were no spills and that there were only two minor incidents, in which the three gallons of leaked fuel was contained in buckets.

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