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Measure for $1.5M reimbursement to DOH for Red Hill fuel leak response moves through Legislature

Red Hill Water Sampling
Seaman Chris Thomas/Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
/
Digital
Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command employees work together to collect a water sample from Red Hill Well under an interagency-approved pumping and filtration plan (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Thomas)

State lawmakers have progressed a measure that would provide an emergency appropriation to reimburse the Department of Health for costs stemming from the Red Hill water crisis.

Jet fuel from the Navy’s storage facility at Red Hill contaminated the water distribution system at Pearl Harbor, and the DOH spent state funds on water testing and other expenses.

The bill to provide $1.5 million for the DOH was passed by a joint legislative committee Tuesday.

DOH Environmental Health Administration Deputy Director Kathleen Ho says the Navy will be held accountable for the expenses.

"The Navy has not committed to reimbursing us any amount of money. Let me just say that they have said that they are responsible. We will do everything in our power to cost-recover the expenses to make us whole," Ho explained at the hearing.

The emergency appropriation will go towards reimbursement for water sample testing and crisis communication assistance.

The Navy has said fuel leaks in May and November 2021 are suspected of contaminating the water. Earlier this month the Department of Defense said it will defuel and shut down the Red Hill facility permanently.

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