The U.S. Navy is now investigating the source of the media leak, which shows an estimated 20,000 gallons of fuel entering the Red Hill tunnel in Hawaii.
A dramatic video hidden for six months by the U.S. Navy shows 20,000 gallons of jet fuel spraying into a Red Hill tunnel for 34 hours. The fuel entered a floor drain that sent thousands of gallons into the water supply of 93,000 residents.
The video surfaced on July 5 after an undisclosed Navy employee made it public.
The video was taken by an employee whose cart ran into a pipe that broke, allowing the jet fuel to spray. Now that is available to the public, the Navy is investigating the media leak of the video. For seven months it told the state of Hawai’i, its congressional delegation and the public that the leak did not exist.
Earthjustice attorney David Henkin said that it’s
“pretty offensive that they would go after someone that is providing information that the public has a right to see… That they are not apologetic for not releasing this information to the public and instead are trying to stomp it out is really offensive.”
The video surfaced only days after the Navy attempted, on June 30, a midnight out-of-sight release of a stunning January 2022 investigative report of the March and November 2022 massive leaks of jet fuel.
The Honolulu Board of Water Supply and community groups including Sierra Club-Hawaii, Earthjustice and Oahu Water Protectors had strongly called in town hall meetings and in writing for the release of the investigation throughout the delay of six months between the writing of the report and its release.
On transparency and trust of the Navy, Ernie Lau, the chief engineer of Honolulu’s Board of Water Supply, says,
“This whole issue of transparency has always been a challenge. They (the Navy) can provide the rhetoric to say that they will be transparent and build trust. But it’s really the actions that are not consistent with that rhetoric that demonstrates that they’re not being actually transparent, and that there may be more information that’s available that could be very valuable in looking at what was the scope and magnitude of the problem, and what we need to do to recover the aquifer from contamination.”
The January 2022 report finally released on June 30 stated in remarkable candor for an internal Navy investigation that “laid bare the human errors and systemic negligence that allowed two catastrophic leaks to occur within months of each other.”
[Related: US Navy Jet Fuel Tanks Contaminating Pearl Harbor]
Rear Admiral Christopher Cavanaugh’s investigative report revealed “there was a culture of disregarding procedures, poor training and supervision, ineffective command, a lack of ownership over operational safety, a lack of timely, accurate and thorough reporting, and a flawed investigation into the May spill.”
In the November 2021 leak, the Navy initially said that 14,000 gallons of fuel and water were released, but in fact, the Cavanaugh report says the pipeline was holding 16,999 gallons of jet fuel, which was released on “full blast.”
The investigative findings mirror the community’s decade-long concerns that Red Hill is fundamentally unsafe, a contention that the Navy denied for years — until the June 30 release of the January investigation.
“They were right,” Adm. Sam Paparo, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told Civil Beat after a press conference to discuss the findings. “The Navy was wrong to say that it was safe. That is clearly evident in the outcome.”
Ann Wright is a 29-year U.S. Army/Army Reserves veteran who retired as a colonel and a former U.S. diplomat who resigned in March 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq. She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. In December 2001 she was on the small team that reopened the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is the co-author of the book Dissent: Voices of Conscience.
This article is from Common Dreams.
Since the end of WWII the Navy has been the branch of service that has one of if not the worst environmental behavior on record.
The amount of radioactive waste it generates is incredible when these materials are followed cradle to grave.
In addition many, far too many, of those who separate from the Navy have been deeply involved is very suspect activities, see Richard Helms was former Navy, same with Bush 41 and “Shrub”, Bush 43 must also be included.
To Note STEVE July 12, 2022 @ 04:23 – Make no mistake, I my opinion, the Navy has little or no respect for anything other than the naval agenda.
“The video surfaced on July 5 after an undisclosed Navy employee made it public.” I hope they don’t “Assange” the navy employee for exposing the truth.
Maybe it’s time for Hawaii to break with the illegal US occupation of those beautiful islands. They are just a strategic base for US weapons in the pacific, so when the military try to cover up an incident like this it shows the disrespect the US govt/military have for the people.
I hope that the Hawaiian activists take aim at forcing the discharge — without retirement or medical benefits — of the highest ranking officer who had a hand in the cover-up. This kind of cover-up will continue so long as there are no consequences.
And surely someone will be disciplined because of the cover up. Just kidding. Only whistle blowers get punished these days.
It is well known that the US military is the world’s biggest squanderer of essential natural resources, including fossil fuels, as well as the largest polluter of the environment in the entire world, including the planet’s air, water and soil. It’s not just petrochemicals that are disseminated recklessly, but there are decades’ worth of radioactive waste purposely deposited on the ocean floor (the corroding metal drums perfectly visible to anyone with deep dive technology) and battle fields in the Middle East and the Balkans strewn with shards and particles of still radioactive “depleted” uranium. Covid should make us aware of the very real dangers of the tons of chemical and biological weapons that the military plays with (on the remote possibility that we will have to genocide other entire civilisations to protect “freedom and democracy” for Americans) and is subject to escape from their laboratories by accident if not design. Even when they are not going to war, the US military is the worst threat to life, health and the environment of every living species on Earth. It gratuitously kills staggering numbers of lives and life forms all in the name of “peace,” “protection,” “free markets,” and “free elections.” To call them a “defence” force is truly an oxymoron. They are Armageddon, the Apocalypse, waiting to happen by accident or design, and which Murphy’s Law virtually guarantees! To be fair, so are the standing armies of all major countries on this planet. The human mind in general seems to have a major design flaw–see, we are not so different! Paranoia is universal. But ours is by far the biggest, most costly and most dangerous military ever assembled in the history of our species.