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Red Hill

Corrosion and Metal Fatigue Practices at Red Hill

The tanks at Red Hill are constructed of concrete with an internal lining of steel ranging in thickness from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch. Each tank lining consists of hundreds of steel plates, connected by thousands of feet of welds. The steel lining was originally installed at the time of the tanks' construction in the early 1940s. Evaluating the condition of these plates is critical in determining the tanks’ ability to store fuel. The condition of the existing steel is also important in determining the suitability of various tank upgrade alternatives.

To date the Navy and Defense Logistics Agency have submitted several reports and plans required by the Red Hill Administrative Order on Consent regarding the condition of the tanks’ steel liners. The Corrosion and Metal Fatigue Practices Report, submitted in April 2016, describes the Navy’s current practices for assessing the condition of the steel used in the tanks and associated fuel containment infrastructure.

Destructive Testing Results Report and Joint Regulatory Agency Response

In June 2018, small samples of steel and concrete were physically removed from one of the Red Hill tanks (Tank #14) to determine whether the tank maintenance program can accurately predict the presence of corrosion before repairing tanks and bringing them back into service. These samples were visually inspected and then sent to a laboratory for more thorough analysis. The results of this exercise are available in the Navy’s Destructive Testing Results Report which is available for viewing below.

The Regulatory Agencies disapproved the Destructive Testing Results Report because EPA and Hawaii DOH do not concur with the finding that the destructive testing validated the non-destructive testing (NDE) process specific to the Red Hill tanks. The Regulatory Agencies required the Navy to conduct further evaluation and improvements to the tank inspection process. As of July 2020, The Regulatory Agencies and Navy are currently conducting scoping discussions to determine the scope of work to determine appropriate NDE improvements. For details, please see the correspondence below.

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