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EPA issues order against company in major jet fuel spill

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Friday ordered the continued cleanup of 42,000 gallons of jet fuel that spilled from a tank facility on Sand Island Access Road.

The order, issued Friday, requires faciity operator Airport Service Group International (ASIG), and facility owner Hawaii Fueling Facilities Corp. to proceed with cleanup work to prevent fuel from entering waters or shoreline areas.

The spill was reported on Jan. 21, and more than 16,000 gallons of jet fuel has been recovered. Cleanup efforts have been overseen by the EPA along with the state Department of Health.

The health department has said the spill poses no risk to drinking water, but fuel has spread from the facility through subsurface contamination and is within 150 feet of the harbor.

“Our action today is to make sure the fuel is cleaned up quickly to protect public health and Oahu’s ocean environment,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We will be monitoring the work closely, and will investigate the cause of the spill to prevent one from happening again.”

ASIG provides airplane fuel at the Honolulu airport. 

Fuel is being pumped from extraction trenches and tank monitoring wells as part of the recovery effort. The EPA said its emergency response contractors are also conducting air monitoring. 

The EPA order under the Clean Water Act requires the owner and operator to:

>> Submit a work plan for daily response activities by Feb. 5.

>> Clean up all petroleum or contaminated materials released.

>> Prevent further releases and impacts to the environment resulting from releases of oil/fuel to waters and adjoining shorelines.

>> Repair all damaged equipment at the facility to prevent future spills of petroleum

>> Submit a plan by March 2 for environmental sampling to ensure that the cleanup activities are complete.

According to the EPA, ASIG said the spill came from a leak in the bottom of its above-ground Tank No. 2, which has a 2.8 million gallon capacity. There are 16 above ground tanks with a total facility capacity of 44.8 million gallons of fuel.  

EPA is leading the response effort with an on-scene coordinator and contractors from its Pacific Southwest Regional Office in San Francisco. They are working  with the DOH’s Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response branch and staff from the ASIG facility.

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