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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Meeting on Red Hill Defueling, Closure and Health Response Plan

On September 22, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III convened senior Department leaders for an update on the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility (RHBFSF). 

Vice Admiral Wade, Joint Task Force Red Hill (JTF-RH) commander, briefed Secretary Austin on JTF-RH efforts to safely and expeditiously defuel the Red Hill Facility. JTF-RH successfully removed approximately 480,000 gallons of fuel from the Surge Tanks in July and completed repacking fuel lines in September in preparation for defueling operations that will begin in October. The Joint Task Force continues to leverage logistics expertise from the Defense Logistics Agency-Energy (DLA Energy) and coordinate closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Hawaii Department of Health throughout this process.

Last month, Dr. Radha Plumb, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, confirmed to Congress that defueling will not adversely affect the Department's military operations. The Department's confirmation allows the Department to begin gravity-based defueling once it has received regulatory approval. 

Secretary Austin noted that work remains to ensure the safe defueling and closure of the facility and reiterated his long-term commitment to protecting human health and environmental stewardship in Hawaii.