The Department of Navy provided a response today to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) investigation report into drinking water complaints; the report was posted on EPA’s website today.
Continued monitoring and sampling of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) water system, done in coordination with regulators, shows the water meets safe drinking water standards. Results are posted on www.jbphh-safewaters.org.
“My team has worked with the EPA and numerous stakeholders to sample and test these homes so all our residents can be assured their water remains safe and clean,” said Rear Adm. Stephen Barnett, Commander, Navy Closure Task Force – Red Hill. “We remain committed to constant communication with EPA and DOH, our residents, and the broader community as we continue to ensure this water remains safe.”
The EPA investigation focused on complaints in October initiated by six residents on the Navy water system on Oahu and subsequent actions taken by the Navy. The report credits the Navy for acting swiftly and appropriately upon receiving the complaints and for leveraging the Drinking Water Long Term Monitoring (LTM) Plan, an interagency testing protocol developed in early 2022 and approved by EPA and the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH).
Of the six complainants, four responded to the Navy’s offer to examine the issue further. The Navy inspected the four residents’ water fixtures for biological growth, collected additional water samples within and nearby the premise, and sampled water heaters. Despite the fact all results indicated samples met safe drinking water standards, the Navy is continuing to work to identify the root cause of trace amounts of petroleum hydrocarbons detected in three of four water samples. The Navy has shared and will continue to share information with the EPA throughout the process.
The EPA’s report included recommendations that the Navy supports as part of its continuing effort to improve its processes to ensure residents maintain access to water that meets safe drinking water standards. These recommendations include: extra training for personnel responding to residents’ questions and concerns; development of pamphlets outlining sampling and testing processes and use of the JBPHH Safe Waters website; and a plan to extend the LTM program beyond its originally planned end date of March 2024.
The Navy will continue to coordinate with the regulators through to completion of its premise plumbing assessment and implementation of the EPA recommendations.
In an effort to engage and inform the public and residents about the JBPHH drinking water, the Navy hosts information booths every month at various locations including the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange (NEX) Mall, NEX minimarts at Halsey Terrace, Ford Island and Pearl City Peninsula, Hickam Army & Air Force Exchange Service, and the Kapilina Night Market. More information about these events is posted on the JBPHH Safe Waters website www.jbphh-safewaters.org.
Residents who have concerns about their drinking water supplied by JBPHH or want to request a Rapid Response Test and/or Drinking Water Long-Term Monitoring test can call the emergency operations center at 808-449-1979, EPA at 415-947-406, or the DOH Safe Drinking Water Branch at 808-586-4258 or at [email protected].
To find more information and download the full Red Hill Tank Closure Plan, supplements, and schedule, visit https://cnrh.cnic.navy.mil/Operations-and-Management/Red-Hill/.
|JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, HI, US
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