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U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Orders Red Hill Investigation

29 November 2021

From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, ordered a command investigation into the Nov. 20, 2021, recovery of about 14,000 gallons of a water-and-fuel mixture from a fire suppression drain line, located about ¼ mile downhill of the fuel tanks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. The command investigation will include a new review of the fuel leak of the pipeline at the facility on May 6, 2021.

The investigation, led by Rear Adm. Christopher Cavanaugh, director, U.S. Pacific Fleet Maritime Headquarters, will start immediately. The investigation will focus on the causes of the May 6 and Nov. 20 releases and whether the fuel found in the Nov. 20 release was related to the May 6 release.

“In conducting your investigation, you will determine the facts and circumstances regarding what caused both incidents; calculate the quantity of fuel that may have been released into the environment; identify the role and impact of material failures, technical competence, and human error; evaluate whether reporting of both incidents was timely, accurate and thorough; and recommend appropriate remedial actions,” Paparo wrote to Cavanaugh in the letter directing the one-star admiral to conduct the investigation.


The Navy is committed to the safe and secure operation of the Red Hill facility and the continued protection of the surrounding environment. This investigation underscores that commitment. Paparo listed three “fundamental priorities” in his letter to Cavanaugh: 

  1.  Ensuring there are no additional spills;
  2.  Ensuring Red Hill operations are environmentally safe and secure; and 
  3.  Identifying the root causes and remedial actions to safeguard the local environment and ensure this does not happen again.


For more information, contact Pacific Fleet Public Affairs at 808-471-3769.

 

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