Stand strong for Oʻahu’s drinking water

Your voice is needed now to show strong support for the protection of Oʻahu’s drinking water from any further fuel contamination by the fragile, massive tanks at Red Hill. Resolution 18-266—urging the Hawaiʻi Department of Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reject single walled tank upgrades at Red Hill—is being heard in the Honolulu City Council Committee on Public Infrastructure, Technology and Sustainability next Tuesday, February 26 at 9am

Sound familiar? You may remember that this resolution was already passed out of this committee and sent to the full council in December 2018, where it was pulled from the agenda the day before the meeting and sent back. The Navy pushed back against the resolution, stating that the resolution was not based on facts. Well, the Navy has had their chance to make their case and Committee Chair Fukunaga and its members are ready to vote on the resolution. Let’s show our strong support for a clean drinking water future and help the City Council standstrong in the protection of Oʻahu’s water.

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. The U.S. Navy is currently 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.

Water drinker, we are asking that you not only submit written testimony but attend the committee meeting and show your support! Here is how to help: 

Sample testimony:

Meeting date: 2/26/2019
Council/PH Committee: Public Infrastructure, Technology, and Sustainability
Agenda Item: Resolution 18-266
Position: Support

Aloha Chair Fukunaga, Vice Chair Manahan, 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 any single wall tank upgrades 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 source and environment have been put at risk for far too long by the fragile, antiquated tanks at Red Hill. It is time for drastic change.

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 Chair Fukunaga and councilmembers for taking up this important measure at the council and standing strong for the protection of Oʻahu’s water.

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