(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- The Pentagon announced on Monday that it will permanently close the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Hawaii.
The facility had been temporarily closed in late November after military families and children became sick from water that was contaminated by a petroleum leak.
According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, the Red Hill facility will be de-fueled and shut down permanently. The fuel will then be redistributed to other locations.
The Red Hill facility rests 100 feet above the Red Hill aquifer which supplies the drinking water for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and other parts of the island of Oahu. Over one million people rely on the aquifer for water.
After reports of people on base suffering from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches, the Navy temporarily shut down the well on November 28 and relocated more than 4,000 families.
Testing revealed the water contained petroleum hydrocarbons and vapors.
In December, the Hawaii Department of Health recommended everyone who relies on the Navy water system stop using the water for drinking, cooking, or oral hygiene.
In his press conference on Monday, Kirby said the DoD is restoring safe drinking water to the area and is providing “best-in-class sampling and testing to ensure the continued safety of the drinking water.”
Meanwhile, Kirby said, the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet has ordered a review into November’s incident. When the review is complete, the report will be released to the public.
In a statement on Monday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said closing the Red Hill facility is “the right thing to do.”
Austin said the Pentagon will create an “environmental mitigation plan to address any future contamination concerns.” In the meantime, the DoD will continue to work with the Hawaii Department of Health as well as local officials and community leaders to clean up the water held at the Red Hill aquifer, Austin said.
Constructed during the Second World War, the Red Hill facility could store up to 250 million gallons of fuel in 20 steel-lined underground storage tanks encased in concrete. The facility supported the US military’s Pacific operations for all branches of service.