It was comforting to hear Gov. Josh Green mentioning Red Hill in his State of the State address. But aside from acknowledging his disappointment with the Navy’s inaction to immediately defuel the 104 million gallons of fuel in the ancient tanks, which pose an imminent and existential threat to Hawaii’s economy and health, his budget appears empty of any funding to alleviate the threat.
Certainly, if the Navy continues to thwart any effort to allow testing by the Board of Water Supply or the state Department of Health at its 20-plus existing monitoring wells, and refuses to establish a local certified testing laboratory to protect ourselves, the state should demand reliable and timely testing independent of the Navy’s and also invest state funds to establish a local laboratory to expedite testing over the next critical years before defueling is completed.
It’s a very small financial commitment when compared to the multi- billion-dollar loss threatened by the permanent closure of the aquifer that sustains our public health, economy and very existence.
Francis M. Nakamoto
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