- Associated Press - Friday, May 23, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - Navy officials say they can’t be sure whether 27,000 gallons of jet fuel leaked from an underground tank in Honolulu because several factors could have accounted for a discrepancy discovered this year.

An investigation into the inconsistent measurements at the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility could take up to a year, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (https://ow.ly/xcdUh) reported Friday.

The Navy has previously assured state lawmakers that drinking water around the tank is safe.

Navy officials told Honolulu leaders during a briefing Thursday that one possible reason for the level change could have been water that collected in between the steel fuel tank and a concrete casing that surrounds it.

Investigators are focused “on identifying what caused those fluctuations in tank level indication upon the filling process from December to January,” regional engineer Capt. Mike Williamson said.

The discrepancy could also be attributed to the tank being empty for four years and then filling it up again, Williamson said.

“I come away feeling,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell, “that we don’t have all the facts yet to verify whether there really was a 27,000-gallon leak, that there could have been an adjustment in the tank. And testing has not proved one way or another conclusively what has occurred. We want to get that information; they want to get that information; and that information will then be shared.”

The Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility held fuel for American planes in World War II.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com


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