Former Govs. John Waihee and Neil Abercrombie today called for the closure of the Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage facility that’s suspected of contaminating drinking water in neighboring homes, leaving residents unable to bathe or drink from their taps.
“I think the Department of Health ought to close the place down,” Waihee told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream program in a joint appearance with Abercrombie. “The Navy understandably — the military always takes the position that they can’t do without something. They can’t do without it, there’s no better way to do anything and unfortunately that’s been proven — they couldn’t do it without Kahoolawe (that the Navy used for target practice) they couldn’t do without Barbers Point (Naval Air Station) and yet they have done without it. … Yeah we ought to close the place down. How much more do you need to do to demonstrate that those facilities are no longer viable, period?
As a Hawaii congressman, Abercrombie spent two decades on the House Armed Services Committee and toured the Red Hill storage tanks, which he said are vulnerable to leaking fuel into the underground aquifer from even a minor earthquake.
“I can tell you for a fact that the aquifer is completely vulnerable to an earthquake,” Abercrombie told Spotlight Hawaii. “We’re one minor earthquake away from having the water for the island of Oahu and everybody on it being destroyed. It makes no sense at all. It should be shut down today, shut down today.”
He said Navy officials are “not on top of anything. They’re just hoping it all goes away while they’re in charge out here. That aquifer is in danger. It needs to be shut down now.”