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Case: Chevron, HI

Date of incident: May 14, 1996.

Location: Oahu, Hawaii.


Case status: Case settled. In restoration.

Overview: On May 14, 1996, a Chevron Product Company pipeline ruptured at a thin spot caused by external erosion and began discharging No. 6 bunker fuel oil adjacent to the Hawaiian Electric Company Waiau Power Plant in Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii. The released oil entered the nearby Waiau Stream, flowed downstream, and entered the East Loch of Pearl Harbor. While in the fresh water of Waiau Stream, the oil remained mostly submerged and then floated to the surface upon entering the denser salt water of Pearl Harbor. In Pearl Harbor, the floating oil initially flowed clockwise down the South Channel. Later that day, when the winds and current shifted, the oil spread widely around East Loch and began moving down both the South and North Channels and fouling shorelines.

The movement of the oil resulted in:

  • The closure of the visitor center and associated boat trips to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial.
  • The closure of Pearl Harbor to vessel traffic.
  • The partial closure of the city and county of Honolulu's bicycle/jogging path around East Loch in the vicinity of the Waiau Power Plant.
  • Suspension of ferry service to Ford Island.
  • The closure of the harbor to recreational and commercial fishing and boating.

The consent decree (CV99-00410 DAE-LEK, D. Hawaii) was entered by the court on September 13, 1999.

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