HONOLULU (KHON2) — Residents who live near Pearl Harbor might receive a letter that says the Navy will monitor air quality in their area for six months.
According to the Navy Department letter, the air monitoring stations will be used to “gain a better understanding of our environment on the installation.”
Army Maj. Mandy Feindt previously lived on Ford Island during the 2021 fuel spill — she still uses her military connections.
“I did speak with a representative of the Navy today and she told me that it was not related at all, that this was just to get some environmental baseline testing, you know, and I just find that hard to believe,” Feindt said.
An air monitoring station map shows about 40 locations where data is being collected. A Navy fact sheet said they were installed in late September and are to be kept in place for six months.
Joint Task Force officials expect Red Hill to be defueled by mid-January, 2024 and Feindt said she appreciates air monitoring systems around Pearl Harbor.
“But what I continue to be frustrated with when it comes to the Navy and their communications is just being honest with the public and being transparent,” she said.
State Rep. Sonny Ganaden sits on the House Special Committee on Red Hill and said his duty goes beyond oversight of defueling.
“Part of the duty of elected officials like myself and the community members, is to make sure that joint task force Red Hill and the Navy don’t just declare victory once these tanks are defueled,” Rep. Ganaden said. “There’s going to be a lot more work to do, and grateful that we’re finally paying attention to things like air quality.”
Feindt was selected as a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Red Hill Community Representation Initiative in July and said residents have been asking for air quality testing for almost two years.
“There were several of us, you know, begging for air quality testing,” Feindt said, “we were trying to figure out a reason why folks kept getting sick.”
KHON2 reached out to the Navy Department for comment, officials said they are working on a response.
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Both Rep. Ganaden and Feindt urged the public to attend a Community Representation Initiative on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at the State Capitol. The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. in the auditorium and will be broadcast on the Community Representation Initiative YouTube page.