HONOLULU(KHON2) — Roughly 25,000 residents living in the Pearl Harbor area may be dealing with what is being called a serious health and environmental issue after traces of petroleum product were found in tap water controlled by the Navy.
Lawmakers representing the affected areas banded together and are calling for answers.
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Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson (D) said the situation is “completely unacceptable.”
Rep. Sonny Ganaden, (D) said they are taking this very seriously and are demanding the Navy take action.
“We, of course, are requesting further transparency from the Navy and working with our federal delegation,” Ganaden said.
Local lawmakers met with the Congressional delegation via Zoom early Thursday to discuss the issue and possible solutions to help those impacted.
The gravity of the situation was even more evident with top military officials flying in to address the issue.
“The Secretary of the Navy is on his way to Hawaii,” Johanson said. “Some of the military’s top brass will shortly be upon us, which demonstrates to us a hopeful commitment that this is more than just some of the status quo.”
The Navy has brought clean water in for residents as tanks with potable water are located near many neighborhood parks; in some places, drinking water is being delivered right to homes.
However, military housing residents said more needs to be done.
“We are working with Radford High School, Moanalua High School and Aiea High School to open up their gyms so people can shower cause no sense going to a Navy gym cause that might have tainted water,” Wakai explained.
They are even looking at offering alternative lodging for affected families.
“We could still call it ‘Hotels for Heroes’ and utilize some state funds, as well as federal funds to put these folks in some type of housing, away from the contaminated water,” added Wakai.
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Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D) said they are scheduling a hearing on Friday, Dec. 10, with the Navy, Department of Health and the Board of Water supply to see what more can be done. She said, by then, they should know exactly what is in the water and the source of the contamination.