HONOLULU (KHON2) — President Joe Biden included $1 billion to defuel the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in his annual budget proposal.

This is on top of the hundreds of millions already directed toward dealing with the water contamination crisis.

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Lawmakers said it is an encouraging sign after years of fighting with the defense department to shut down Red Hill.

“We don’t know exactly what this is going to cost,” said Sen. Brian Schatz, D, Hawaii. “I think a billion dollars is certainly a very impressive down payment. The other thing to remember about this language, is that it’s extremely flexible. It allows the resources to be spent, however necessary in military construction, if that is what’s necessary, cash resources, the defueling itself.”

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Full remediation, defueling and closure of Red Hill and identification of alternative strategic fuel storage capacity in the Indo-Pacific will take sustained federal funding in the billions over several fiscal years. This new $1 billion fund is a welcome reflection of continued commitment by the Department of Defense and this Administration to achieve all of this. I remain fully committed, especially as a member of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations and of our Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, to supporting and funding all of these efforts. I will carefully review this request and make any adjustments needed to ensure the federal government fulfills its promises to our state.