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Red Hill

Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility pump room
Red Hill Fuel Pump Room
U.S. Navy photo by Daniel Mayberry

In November 2021, an underground storage tank at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Oahu, Hawaii began leaking jet fuel – specifically, jet propellent-5, or JP-5 – into the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) water distribution system. On November 28, 2021, residents began reporting foul-smelling tap water, and some residents also reported symptoms ranging from vomiting and headaches to unexplained rashes. The exposure impacted an estimated 9,000 families, including members of the Navy, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Additional information about the jet fuel release at Red Hill is available on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) website here.

Red Hill Response and Outcomes

The State of Hawaii issued an advisory on November 29, 2021, urging Red Hill area residents to avoid using the water.  Specific actions taken by the federal and state governments to respond to this issue include:

  • The State of Hawaii, in collaboration with the EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), is conducting studies to assess and analyze the full impact of the accidental release of jet fuels from Red Hill. Read more at the State of Hawaii website and the ATSDR Red Hill Response webpage.
  • The Navy has complied with federal orders and is taking steps to permanently close the facility by 2027. Read more about the defueling and closure plan here.
  • On February 18, 2022, President Biden signed a stopgap funding bill that included a total of $350 million for the response to water contamination at JBPHH.
  • VA is working closely with its federal partners to monitor this situation and understand its impact on the Veteran community.

Red Hill and How VA Can Help

If you or someone you know is concerned about health problems potentially associated with the Red Hill Bulk Storage Facility jet fuel leak, talk to your health care provider or contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.

If you feel that your health has been impacted by your service, VA encourages you to file a claim for disability compensation. These claims are considered on a case-by-case basis.


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