Around 700 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex (MSSC) on the summit of Haleakalā on the night of Jan. 29. The Pacific Air Forces blamed the spill on a mechanical failure with a backup generator.
“We understand the importance of being good stewards of the environment and will work with necessary state and federal officials as we begin clean-up efforts,” said Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir, commander of U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific in a statement.
Per the Pacific Air Forces, they maintain MSSC as “a strategically-located national asset” that is “host to small, medium, and large-aperture tracking optics, including the [Department of Defense’s] largest optical telescope designed for tracking and imaging satellites, with visible and infrared sensors to collect data on near-Earth and deep-space objects.”
Local politicians whose districts include the area impacted by the spill were quick to weight in. State Sen. Lynn DeCoite called it “completely unacceptable,” while state Rep. Kyle Yamashita dubbed it “deeply troubling.”
Whether those stern words will lead to repercussions for the military or anyone else remains to be seen.