Gov. Ige and Hawai‘i’s Congressional Delegation Call for Immediate Suspension of Operations at Red Hill
Governor David Ige and Hawaiʻi’s congressional delegation–US Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) and US Representatives Ed Case (D-Hawai‘i) and Kaiali‘i Kahele (D-Hawai‘i)–are calling for the Secretary of the Navy to immediately suspend operations at Red Hill following the contamination of drinking water at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Gov. Ige and the Hawaiʻi delegation released a statement this evening saying:
“Test results confirming contamination of drinking water at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam show that the Navy is not effectively operating the World War II-era facility and protecting the health and safety of the people of Hawai‘i. We are calling for the Navy to immediately suspend operations at Red Hill while they confront and remedy this crisis.”
On Saturday, Sen. Schatz provided an update after a call with White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and the President’s Homeland Security Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall. The conversation focused on the water contamination crisis at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Sen. Schatz. said he briefed officials on the water contamination crisis on Oʻahu and requested the Biden Administration’s support for all federal resources available to the state and to affected residents, including mobilizing EPA and all relevant federal agencies.
“The White House agreed to work closely with me and state and military leaders to ensure Hawai‘i has the federal support it needs to clean up the water at Red Hill and help families get through this crisis,” said Sen. Schatz.
Meantime, Congressman Case visited the Army’s Aliamanu Military Reservation including its Task Force ʻOhana emergency management center where he spoke with local residents, and the Navy’s Halsey Terrace housing where he visited Navy and Marine Corps emergency efforts and spoke with local residents. Case also visited an affected elementary school and attended a Navy Town Hall for concerned local residents on Hickam AFB.
In Washington, Rep. Kaialii Kahele questioned Navy Vice Adm. Williamson about what the Navy is doing to immediately address the crisis at Red Hill. The questions surfaced during the House Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday, regarding energy and fuel for the Department of Defense.
On Friday, the state Department of Health reported results of two sets of samples collected from the Navy water system in the last 10 days. Since Monday, DOH has received 494 complaints from Navy water system users. The findings are posted here.
DOH recommends all Navy water system users should avoid using the water for drinking, cooking, or oral hygiene. Navy water system users who detect a fuel-like odor from their water should also avoid using the water for bathing, dishwashing or laundry. This recommendation applies to users of the Navy’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam water system, including the Aliamanu Military Reservation, Red Hill and Nimitz Elementary Schools and military housing.
The Navy hosted is hosting an in-person town hall at the Hokulani Community Center in Honolulu to provide up-to-date information about the ongoing water issue to those who have been impacted. The meeting started earlier this afternoon and is being carried live at the following link.