Fuel spill cleanup begins at Space Force telescope facility in Maui, Hawaii

The cleanup of the diesel fuel spill that occurred on January 29, 2023 at Space Force telescope facility on the top of the dormant volcano Haleakala on the island of Maui in Hawaii began last week.

Samples of the soil will be sent for testing to determine that it has been excavated to a depth that captures all the diesel fuel, the Air Force said. All the soil from those test samples, as well as the mass of earth removed, will be stored, cleaned and returned to the ground, according to the approved plan.

Hawaiians regard Haleakala’s summit as sacred and that no soil or stones should be removed from the site.

The facility is used by the U.S. military to track orbiting objects, from satellites to space junk.

Diesel fuel spill at Air Force surveillance facility on Hawaiian mountaintop

The Air Force reported today that about 700 gallons of diesel fuel spilled out on January 29, 2023 at Air Force’s surveillance telescope facility on top of Haleakala on the island of Maui.

The spill occurred at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex, which tracks satellites and space debris using several telescopes atop Haleakala, a dormant volcano. “Due to a mechanical issue, a diesel fuel pump for an on-site backup generator failed to shut off” Sunday night, the Air Force said in a news release.

At about 8 a.m. Monday, maintenance personnel discovered the failure and shut off the transfer pump, the Air Force said.

Since 2021 the military has had two other accidents at different Hawaiian facilities. Considering the hostile political atmosphere there for any facility not run by “native Hawaiians”, this new fuel spill could not have come at a worse time. Expect pressure to mount to remove this facility.