Bill would prohibit Red Hill fuel tanks in 2028
The Navy would no longer be able to operate its massive underground fuel tanks at Red Hill after January 2028 under a bill that moved out of a Senate committee Monday.
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The Navy would no
longer be able to operate its massive underground fuel tanks at Red Hill after January 2028 under a bill that moved out of a Senate committee Monday.
The Red Hill tanks have been a source of concern since 2014 after a 27,000-gallon leak just 100 feet above a major source of drinking water for much of Oahu. In October, Navy officials said they would remove the fuel sometime around 2045 if they cannot find a way to install a secondary containment system.
Senate Bill 2774, which passed out of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Environment with amendments Monday, would prohibit “a person
to operate an underground storage system with a
capacity of 100,000 gallons or more, mauka of the underground injection control line.”
The bill would prohibit the Navy from operating its Red Hill fuel tanks after Jan. 1, 2028. It was opposed by the Navy. Capt. Marc Delao, commanding officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii, told
Senators on Monday,
“The water is safe to
But the intent of SB 2774 is to protect “Hawaii’s groundwater from contamination,” according to the bill.
The bill is supported by the state Department of Health, Honolulu Board
of Water Supply, Sierra Club of Hawaii, Young Progressives Demanding Action and other groups and individuals.
Ernest Lau, manager
and chief engineer for
the Board of Water Supply, testified in person and in written comments, “Our drinking water aquifer is the only one of its kind and cannot be replaced. It is
nature’s gift that should
be guaranteed legislative protection and future
generations should receive in a condition that is equal to or better than what is
The committee also passed out Senate Bill 2775, which requires the Fuel Tank Advisory Committee to meet twice within a calendar year at least six months apart.