Jet Fuel Leaks Into Drinking Water From Government Fuel Storage Facility In Hawaii
HAWAII - A once classified U.S. Military fuel storage installation hidden inside of a mountain in Hawaii began leaking jet fuel into the drinking water and sickening at least 5,900 military personnel according to the Stripes news agency.
The military facility, which is called 'Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility' and near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, overlooks Pearl Harbor has been used as a fuel storage facility for providing fuel to ships in the indo-pacific since World War 2 was, for many years a classified installation hidden beneath a mountain.
One U.S. lawmaker has called the fuel leak a "crisis of astronomical proportions". Many residing in Hawaii including locals, veterans and those across both sides of the political spectrum are attempting to get the fuel tanks shut down. The U.S. Navy however says that they are absolutely vital to national security.
Of the 5,900 that were sickened, many complained about experiencing nausea, rashes and headaches, skin peeling and vomiting which got better after they stopped drinking from the water supply. 4,000 of those that were sickened by the contaminated water supply were moved to hotel rooms to get away from it. Meanwhile, the U.S. Military has obtained water treatment systems from the United States mainland.
Navy Rear Admiral Blake Converse who is the deputy Pacific Fleet Commander spoke to lawmakers last month and said "The Navy caused this problem, we own it and we're gonna fix it".
The U.S. Navy has yet to determine how the fuel leak happened and how fuel got into the drinking water supply. The fuel tanks are inside the mountain ridge in order to protect them from attacks from the air. Each fuel tank can hold up to 12.5 million gallons of water and is about the size of a 25 story building.
The fuel tanks have pipes connected to them that allow the U.S. Military to feed fuel about 2.5 miles to the Pearl Harbor docks so that they can fuel the ships and aircraft docked there. The tanks fuel both planes and ships for the Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force as well as the Army.
According to Stripes News officials are currently investigating the leak and theorize that jet fuel may have spilled into the water supply from a 'ruptured' pipe in May and from there somehow entered into the fire suppression system's drain pipe, sending the water into the drinking supply from there.
Stripes says that the Navy has been trying to clean the petroleum from the well that was contaminated with jet fuel and 'pump it out of the aquifer'.
Deputy Pacific Fleet command, Converse said during the congressional hearing that the U.S. Navy is working on restoring public trust after the incident. "We recognize how much these events impacted the lives of so many, and we are firmly committed to restoring safe drinking water in a manner that builds trust and protects the land and the waters of Hawaii" Converse stated.