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Defense Department requests $1 billion to cover Red Hill defueling

US Navy Region Hawaii

President Joe Biden’s fiscal year 2023 budget proposal includes $1 billion to empty the tanks at the Red Hill fuel storage facility.

The $1 billion in Red Hill funding is part of an overall $773 billion Department of Defense spending request.

The money would go toward remediating the Red Hill water contamination crisis, in which thousands of residents living near Pearl Harbor were sickened after jet fuel leaked into the Navy’s water distribution system.

In a statement, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said the amount of funding demonstrates the Biden administration’s support of the effort to safely defuel and shut down the Red Hill facility.

U.S. Rep. Ed Case expressed his support for the funding, saying he will work to ensure that the federal government fulfills its promise to the state.

Earlier this month, the Defense Department said it would permanently shut down the World War II-era fuel depot, which is situated above Oʻahu’s aquifer.

The $1 billion Red Hill funding request is part of the Biden administration’s proposed $5.8 trillion budget for fiscal year 2023.

Scott Kim is a news editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Contact him at skim@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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