‘Absolutely unacceptable’: Rep. Kahele to Armed Services Committee on Red Hill water contamination

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — At a U.S. House Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday morning, Hawaii Rep. Kai Kahele asked a number of questions related to the contamination of the water in the Red Hill area.

Along with a photo of what appeared to be oil-slicked water, Rep. Kahele showed those in attendance a bottle of water that was taken from a Red Hill Navy family’s home. Kahele told the committee, “If you smell this water, you would know that there is something wrong with this water. There is a petroleum product in this water.”

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Kahele asked whether it was possible to make Red Hill safe and how. To which Vice Admiral Ricky Williamson said he would have to get an answer and deliver that to Rep. Kahele later.

Though Kahele said he understands the importance of the Red Hill facility for the military’s future readiness, he went on to tell the committee that the Hawaii Department of Health and the University of Hawaii confirmed the presence of petroleum in the water on Wednesday and Kahele called the situation “absolutely unacceptable.”

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Rep. Kahele asked that the Navy prioritize Red Hill in its next budget for secondary containment or moving the facility, stating that that would show how seriously the Navy is taking the current situation.

Secondary test results from the Red Hill area are expected Thursday afternoon.

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