$686M included in FY2022 budget to address Red Hill crisis, close facility
An estimated $686,429,000 in funding for the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility water contamination crisis is included in the fiscal year 2022 omnibus spending bill, unveiled last week.
The appropriations bill includes additional funding specifically dedicated to defueling the facility. This funding comes days after the Department of Defense committed to permanently closing down Red Hill.
US Senator Mazie K. Hirono applauded the funding. “This $686 million is an important step, but there is still a lot of work left to be done to safely defuel, permanently close the facility, and remediate any environmental contamination concerns. This will require direction and oversight by Congress in the out years to provide funding to ensure it is completed,” said Sen. Hirono.
The funding includes an additional $150 million in new federal funding to cover the cost to defuel, permanently close the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, and clean up contaminated water in the affected areas.
US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured the additional funds, which is included in the new appropriations bill.
“We still have more work to do to make sure Red Hill is closed safely, but we now have significant resources to drain the tanks and get this right,” said Sen. Schatz.
According to Sen. Hirono, the FY22 Omnibus includes:
- $510.4 million to support displaced families and conduct remediation and recovery efforts, such as persistent water monitoring and treatment, specifically funding:
- $58 million for persistent water monitoring
- $19 million for granular activated carbon water filtration equipment
- $9 million for hydrogeology and corrosion studies
- An additional $100 million for the Secretary of Defense to conduct activities in compliance with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health Order 21-UST-EA-02, signed Dec. 6, 2021, related to the removal of fuel from and improvement of infrastructure at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, subject to the same authorities and conditions as funds appropriated in P.L. 117-86
- $71 million for environmental and restoration efforts outside of the Red Hill well shaft, such as aquifer remediation
- $5 million to re-execute the operational risk assessment as ordered by the Administrative Order of Consent to identify engineering defects across Red Hill.
- Increases from $53 million to $85.25 million funds for emergencies and extraordinary expenses, which provides immediate financial assistance to impacted residents of housing areas reliant on the Red Hill water supply for which no other form of federal funding is authorized.
- Directs the Secretary of Defense to provide the congressional defense committees no later than 90 days after enactment a report detailing all options under consideration by the Department of Defense both to mitigate issues with fuel storage at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, as well as future plans for the site and Department of Defense fuel storage requirements