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Hawaiʻi congressional delegation urges Navy to comply with fuel removal order

Hawaii Congressional Delegation brian schatz, mazie hirono, ed case, kai kahele
U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives official portraits
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U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono and U.S. Reps. Ed Case and Kaialiʻi Kahele

Hawaiʻi’s congressional delegation on Tuesday urged the Navy to comply with an emergency order to remove fuel from its Red Hill storage tanks.

The statement — from U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono and U.S. Reps. Ed Case and Kaialiʻi Kahele — followed a decision Monday by the state Department of Health to uphold the order.

"The Navy must fully comply with the order and begin the process of planning and executing the safe removal of fuel that continues to pose a threat to O‘ahu’s drinking water," they said. "Clean drinking water is essential to our health and safety, and our future—we all agree this cannot be compromised for anything.”

The delegation said it will lend whatever support is necessary to the process of planning and defueling the tanks, which sit above a major aquifer on Oʻahu.

The state handed down the order on Dec. 6 after residents of military housing near Joint Base Pearl-Harbor-Hickam complained of fuel in their tap water and further testing confirmed contamination.

State Department of Health Deputy Director Marian Tsuji upheld the order after a contested case hearing.

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