EPA heads efforts to clean up jet fuel spill

February 5, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is spearheading efforts to clean up a jet fuel spill at a tank farm facility on the Sand Island Access Road in Honolulu.

The 42,000 gallon spill was reported on January 21, and was thought to be the result of a hole in the bottom of an above-ground storage tank at the Hawaii Fueling Facilities Corporation's tank farm, operated by the Airport Service Group International (ASIG).

The EPA has been overseeing cleanup efforts since the spill was detected, alongside the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH). 19,800 gallons of the spilled jet fuel have been recovered.

However, Health Department officials state that company's original estimate of the lost fuel was based on an outdated inventory report. Environmental activist Carroll Cox reported, "This is worse than originally reported. They've learned now that it's been leaking for some time so clearly it's more than 42,000 gallons."

Fuel has been found to have moved offsite, and has formed a 100-yard underground plume which is within 150-feet of the harbor. The DOH reports that the spill does not pose a threat to drinking water, but is still a cause for concern.

The EPA issued a federal Clean Water Act order to ensure cleanup of the Sand Island site continues. James Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator of the Pacific Southwest stated, "Our action today is to make sure the fuel is cleaned up quickly to protect public health and Oahu's ocean environment. We will be monitoring the work closely, and will investigate the cause of the spill to prevent one from happening again."

Environmental consultants can help companies conduct frequent checks to ensure facilities are in working order, to allow the business to function smoothly.