HONOLULU (KHON2) — A call for action went out for a proactive response to prevent full contamination from the Red Hill Facility. Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona and State Rep. Bob McDermott said not enough is being done by local officials to protect Oahu’s water system.
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At a news conference Thursday, Aiona and McDermott question why water treatment facilities have not been installed for the shafts and wells in the Red Hill area and no filtration has been secured for civilians. Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation, they said, have also failed to secure the funding for decommissioning.
Since the onset of the crisis, which started when residents started complaining of fuel in their drinking water, the list of affected areas grew, residents reported debilitating symptoms, the EPA investigated and officials visited the facilities. However, Red Hill has yet to be defueled.
Aiona stated in part, “This must begin immediately. Our entire water network is at risk. Much of Honolulu’s water infrastructure will be damaged if the main aquifer is breached. As Judge David Day said, “the Red Hill Facility, as currently constituted, poses an imminent peril to human health and safety or the environment is a fact established by a preponderance of the evidence.”
The Navy said it planned to complete the defueling in five phases, which include repairs of the Red Hill facility in order for the defueling to begin, executing contracts for the repairs, and training Navy personnel about the process.
The Navy’s initial defueling plan was rejected by the Hawaii Department of Health, the department stating the plan lacked substance.
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All levels of our government have been too slow to act. This has been a catastrophic failure of our Congressional Delegation who seem more concerned with climate change than diesel in our drinking water. Their priorities should be clean, safe drinking water for all citizens. All this recent federal spending and not 10 cents for the protection of local people and their water. Auwe.”State Rep McDermott
An updated plan, the Navy stated, will be submitted in August.