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JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – The Navy found elevated levels of a petroleum compound in a military neighborhood near Honolulu Airport and an organic compound in three other neighborhoods.
Initial testing in one home in the Zone F2 neighborhood of Halsey Terrace detected a petroleum compound at a level of 460 parts per billion (ppb). The combined limit for total petroleum hydrocarbons set by the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) following the Red Hill Well fuel contamination is 211 ppb. That limit is also called an Incident Specific Parameter or ISP.
Samples from two non-residential buildings in the Zone F2 neighborhoods of Catlin Park and Radford Terrace found an organic compound called bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, also known as di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate or DEHP. DEHP is frequently used in the production of polyvinyl chloride or PVC, and is not a known component of JP-5 fuel. DEHP is not the same chemical as a previously reported compound known as BCEE (bis(2-chloroethyl)ether). The DEHP exceedances were 23.8 ppb and 18.3 ppb, and the ISP for DEHP is 6 ppb.
DEHP was also found in a sample taken from a vacant home about four miles away in Zone B1, which is composed of McGrew and Halawa neighborhoods. The DEHP exceedance at this location was 42.4 ppb.
The Interagency Drinking Water System Team (IDWST) determined the next step was to re-flush and re-sample the impacted buildings, both non-residential and homes.
The Hawaii DOH public health advisory remains in effect for Zones F2 and B1, and all Navy Water System users should not use the water for drinking, cooking, or oral hygiene until the advisory is amended for their zone. The IDWST will perform a thorough review of all results, including the re-sampling for Zones F2 and B1 before submitting a package for Hawaii DOH review. Once Hawaii DOH determines the water is safe to drink, Hawaii DOH will amend the health advisory for these two zones.
A letter sent to residents in Zone F2, which also includes Doris Miller and Maloelap neighborhoods, incorrectly identified the DEHP ISP as 3 ppb.
The Hawaii DOH’s Nov. 29, 2021, public health advisory for JBPHH remains in effect for all zones except Zone I1 (Red Hill Housing) and Zone A1 (Pearl City Peninsula).
For more information on water recovery efforts, please see: https://www.cpf.navy.mil/JBPHH-Water-Updates/.