Single walled tanks at Red Hill not enough – stand for Oʻahu’s drinking water

Please submit testimony now in support of protecting O‘ahu’s water.

You might have already heard, last week resolution 18-266—urging the Hawaiʻi Department of Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reject single walled tank upgrades at Red Hill—was heard in and passed out of the Honolulu City Council’s Committee on Public Works, Infrastructure, and Sustainability.

On Wednesday, the resolution is being heard in front of the full council to consider final adoption. If adopted, this resolution adds an additional layer of heavy public pressure and municipal backing for the State Health Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take a stronger stance for the health of Oʻahu’s water.

Currently, the U.S. Navy is considering the lowest cost and least protective option to upgrade the Red Hill tanks. The Navy themselves has stated that “this alternative is nearly identical to the efforts conducted to inspect and repair the Red Hill tanks over the last 13 years.” This includes tank 5 that leaked 27,000 gallons of jet fuel in 2014. Status quo is not acceptable—the tanks at Red Hill should be fitted with secondary containment or the tanks should be retired and the fuel moved to a location that does not risk Oʻahu’s main drinking water resource.

We ask that you, as a water drinker and Oʻahu resident, submit written testimony and if you can, attend the council meeting to verbally testify.

The meeting is Wednesday, December 5 at 10am. Submit written testimony and register to verbally testify by December 4, 10am, although late written testimony will be accepted. If you plan to verbally testify, please note the resolution is near the end of the agenda so plan to attend later in the day. If you do not wish to register, you will still be able to testify after those registered have spoken. Verbal testimony is limited to 1 minute.

Sample written testimony is provided below:

Meeting date: 12/5/2018
Council/PH Committee: Council/public hearing
Agenda Item: Resolution 18-266
Position: Support

Aloha Chair Martin, Vice Chair Pine, and Councilmembers,

As a resident of Oʻahu and a water drinker, I strongly support resolution 18-266 urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Hawaiʻi Department of Health to reject the approval of a single wall tank upgrade alternative option and to reject the conclusions presented in the Groundwater Protection and Evaluation Considerations for the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

Drinking water resources throughout the Hawaiian Islands, especially in light of climate change, are finite. Oʻahu’s primary drinking water aquifer and surrounding environment should not continue to be put at risk as it is now due to the fragile and antiquated Red Hill fuel tanks.

The Red Hill facility has a long history of leaking fuel into the surrounding environment and the facility should be immediately upgraded with state-of-the-art secondary containment technology to ensure they never leak again. If they cannot be upgraded to guarantee against leaks, the tanks should be retired.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify and for taking up this important measure at the council.


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Please submit testimony now in support of protecting O‘ahu’s water.