A year after 700 gallons of fuel spilled at a Space Force observatory located atop a sacred Hawaiian volcano on Maui, angering locals, officials are still working on approving a remediation plan and presenting it to the community.
On Jan. 29, 2023, a diesel fuel pump for a backup generator at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex failed to shut off and the float — a piece that helps monitor fuel levels — inside the tank was defective, causing hundreds of gallons to seep into the soil on the 10,023-foot summit of Haleakalā, a volcano on the Hawaiian island.
Despite gradual progress over the last year, a final plan to make sure all the fuel is cleaned up and determine how the soil will be returned to the land has not been finalized. The service also wants to get community input for the plan, given the sacred nature of the site.
Read Next: As the Marine Corps Says Goodbye to Decades-Old Jet, Its Maintainers Hit the Fleet for the Last Time
“We endeavor to get the community's viewpoint and do our level best to incorporate their concerns and suggestions in the process. We share their frustrations as we work through this complicated, but deliberate, process,” Lt. Col. Phillip Wagenbach, 15th Space Surveillance Squadron commander, said in a press release.
“We recognize the cultural importance of the site and have accelerated the process whenever it was safe to do so,” he said.
Haleakalā is a culturally and religiously significant site for…