State and federal agencies on Friday established a new task force to respond to the Navy’s water crisis in Red Hill.
At least 93,000 residents who depend on the Navy’s water supply system have not been able to drink it since it became apparent that the Navy’s drinking water well at Red Hill was contaminated with fuel in November. The well is not far from the Navy’s underground fuel storage facility that holds 180 million gallons of jet fuel.
The Hawaii Department of Health, the US Environmental Protection Agency, Navy and Army announced Friday that they are forming a new task force called the Interagency Drinking Water System Team, according to a press release. joint of the four agencies.
The team’s overarching goal is to ensure residents of Hawaii have access to safe drinking water and to address community concerns. The team will also pursue a sampling and analysis plan for groundwater and drinking water. The group will also be responsible for agreeing and implementing a plan to remove contaminants from the system.
“This interagency drinking water system team will ensure that we remain closely aligned as we move forward through the recovery process together,” Rear Admiral Blake Converse, deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in a statement. Press release.
The group this week signed a water sampling plan that involves sampling from several wells, including the Waiawa well, Halawa well and Red Hill well.
The city closed the Halawa well after the Navy confirmed its Red Hill well was contaminated with oil.
The water sampling plan provides for identifying contaminated locations that should be prioritized for flushing, following an approved plan and subsequent testing.
The water sampling plan also includes collecting and testing drinking water from a random sample of homes and buildings and continuing testing of drinking water samples for two years afterward. the return of residents to their homes. An estimated 3,000 people have been displaced since the start of the water crisis.