On February 15th and 16th, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) are hosting meetings with key agency stakeholders to discuss updates to the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Facility AOC and the steps being taken to ensure the safety of Oahu’s drinking water. Participants for these meetings include the EPA, DOH, Honolulu Board of Water Supply (BWS), the United States Navy and the State Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Since the EPA and DOH identified twelve deficiencies in the Navy’s proposed scope of work plan last October, community concerns surrounding the possibility of pollutants entering Oahu’s drinking water and reducing the risks posed by the fuel tanks have become more pronounced. To address these concerns, State Senate Agriculture and Environment Chair Gabbard introduced SB 1259.
This measure requires the department of health to adopt rules for underground storage tanks and tank systems to conform to current EPA regulations that include additional requirements for field-constructed underground storage tanks and tank systems, and utilize leak detection methods to ensure that fuel does not leak into Oahu’s groundwater. The Senate Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs reported the bill out with amendments on February 8th, and it is now pending before the Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Ways and Means.
The Council’s Committee on Public Works, Infrastructure, and Sustainability will also hold an informational briefing on March 8th with Honolulu Board of Water Supply (BWS). BWS representatives will discuss recent discussions involving the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Facility and the steps regulatory agencies at the federal, state, and local level are taking, as well as providing an update on their efforts to improve public notifications on water main breaks in urban Honolulu. Please contact Linda Oamilda of my staff at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions or require additional information.