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Navy Objects To Suggestion It Drain Hawaii Gasoline Tanks


HONOLULU (AP) — The Navy on Wednesday filed objections to the conclusion by a Hawaii state official that it needs to be required to take away fuel from tanks it owns close to Pearl Harbor.

State Division of Well being Deputy Director Marian Tsuji now has 30 days to think about the Navy’s complaints earlier than making a last determination on the matter.

At situation is whether or not the Navy needs to be required, as ordered by Gov. David Ige earlier this month, to empty gasoline from the tanks.

The Navy argued it shouldn’t. That prompted two days of hearings presided over by David D. Day, a deputy lawyer normal. After these hearings, Day on Monday really useful that the governor’s order be adopted.

The governor issued his order after the Navy disclosed that gasoline from a World Struggle II-era gasoline storage facility at Purple Hill had contaminated certainly one of its consuming water wells and sickened lots of in navy housing. Honolulu officers are involved leaks from the ability might completely injury an aquifer that sits beneath the tanks, jeopardizing Oahu’s broader water provide.

The Navy has a authorized proper to its submitting, stated David Henkin, a lawyer for Earthjustice, which represented the Sierra Membership of Hawaii within the case.

“But it also has a moral obligation to acknowledge the reality that every day it fights this emergency order, is another day that Oahu’s principle source of drinking water remains at risk for catastrophic and irreversible contamination,” Henkin stated in an announcement.

The Navy’s submitting Wednesday stated Day used an “overbroad” interpretation of the Division of Well being’s emergency authority to manage underground gasoline storage tanks. The submitting argued the present state of affairs with the tanks didn’t pose an “imminent” menace to human well being and the surroundings.

Additional, the Navy stated Day’s findings improperly cited proof of not less than 76 incidents of gasoline releases over the past 80 years as proof that the gasoline tank facility poses a continuing menace to Oahu’s water provide. The submitting stated 30 of these releases had been attributed to an early leak detection system with a flawed design that generated false positives. One other 26 leaks had been from tanks 1 and 19, which have been completely decommissioned.

The Navy’s submitting additionally objected to Day’s description of the Purple Hill tanks as being too outdated, poorly designed, troublesome to examine and too giant to forestall future releases.

The Navy responded that the November gasoline leak that contaminated the Navy’s consuming water properly got here from “an accidental pipe release caused by human error” and never from a tank leak.

“That release, in other words, does not support the Hearing Officer’s theory of system risk,” the Navy stated.

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