(CNN)A series of obstacles caused a fuel leak at a military facility in Hawaii, a family relying on a nearby well for water. Got sick. As a result of the investigation of, the Navy discovered a problem with the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.
Leakage and subsequent environmental damage, and harm to the surrounding community, forced the Pentagon to announce in March that the facility would be refueled and permanently closed. Part of the reason.
"The Navy accepts responsibility for what has happened," Admiral Samuel Paparo, commander of the United States Pacific Fleet, said in a phone call with reporters Thursday.
"The integrated disposition authorities will review the evidence and make an independent decision on accountability consistent with the uniform law of military law," Papalo said. He did not provide a timeline for disciplinary action or administrative action decisions.
On May 6, 2021, Navy headquarters investigations revealed that facility operators improperly initiated fuel transfers and pressure in the system surged. The sudden rise in pressure damaged the two pipe joints and spilled fuel. However, the facility and its commander did not recognize or report the extent of the spill and believed it was only about 1,580 gallons.
In fact, research has shown that about 20,000 gallons have been spilled, most of which have flowed into the fuel control system through the tunnel system. The system's retention line retained fuel for six months, and its weight caused the PVC pipe to sag.
On November 20, 2021, a small underground cart on the facility's train struck a valve on a sagging PVC pipe, spewing fuel from the line. However, emergency responders were initially told that liquids were not just fuel, but a mixture of fuel and water, the Navy discovered.
For days, local Navy officials believed there was no environmental threat and told their commanders that there was no risk to groundwater or pollution, and the Navy told them. He claimed that the fuel could not penetrate through the concrete. A 100-foot rock that separates the tunnel from the tunnel or aquifer.
A week after the spill, the facility received the first complaint of underwater fuel odor from a nearby resident. The next day, the facility received another 37 calls about underwater fuel. The number of calls quickly reaches hundreds.
On November 28, the Navy closed Red Hill following reports of people living in bases suffering from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and skin-related problems. The Navy said tests at the time revealed petroleum hydrocarbons and steam in the water.
In its command investigation, the Navy was inadequately responding to the May and November spills, and proper training and training after the first spill could identify risks to the well. I discovered that it was possible.
"In the end, both spill responses were flawed because we unknowingly concluded that a large amount of fuel remained outside the reported containment boundaries," the study concludes. Attached.
A complex network of responsibilities and accountability can obscure who is in charge of what and identify the best solutions and how to implement them as the situation worsens. The Navy has found it becoming more and more difficult.
"These flaws endured because they couldn't learn from accountability seams and previous incidents that were unacceptably below the Navy's standards for leadership, ownership, and community protection. "It was," the Navy discovered.