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EPA says the Navy has taken 'needed actions' in response to Red Hill water contamination

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In a statement released Tuesday by U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono and U.S. Reps. Ed Case and Kai Kahele, the delegation asked the Environmental Protection Agency to intervene in this Navy water crisis. EPA spokesperson Alejandro Diaz shared how the EPA is providing support to the state and the military.

"U.S. EPA has mobilized three federal on-scene coordinators to Honolulu to provide technical support to the Navy and to work with them, also with Hawaiʻi DOH and the Navy to provide resources necessary for this response," he said.

Diaz said the EPA believes the Navy has taken "needed actions to respond to the incident, including providing alternative drinking water sources."

"However, we do understand that this drinking water problem has posed quite the hardship to Oʻahu residences, in particular in the military community. And we commit to continue really working with our federal and state and also local partners to bring effective and expeditious relief," he told Hawaiʻi Public Radio.

EPA's involvement with the Red Hill facility started around 2014, Diaz said. Hawaiʻi DOH is the lead regulatory agency, tasked with overseeing the Red Hill fuel storage facility.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Dec. 8, 2021.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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