March 09, 2022

Hirono Applauds $686 million in Funding to Address the Red Hill Water Contamination Crisis, Close the Facility

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono applauded the $686,429,000 in funding for the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility water contamination crisis included in the fiscal year 2022 omnibus spending bill, which was unveiled this morning. In February, Senator Hirono helped secure $100 million in the must-pass continuing resolution spending bill to defuel the facility. Today’s announced appropriations bill includes additional funding specifically dedicated to defueling the facility.  This funding comes only days after the Department of Defense committed to permanently closing down Red Hill, a decision Senator Hirono strongly supported.

“Last month we were able to ensure funding was available to cover the costs incurred to get families back into their homes, restore clean drinking water to impacted communities and defuel the facility. But I said from day one that significantly more funding will be required. I’ve worked hard with my colleagues on the appropriations committee and leadership in the Senate, as well as, the White House, the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Defense to ensure DoD has the resources to safely defuel and permanently close the facility in this year’s spending bill,” said Senator Hirono.

“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.”

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 Hawaii Department of Health Order 21-UST-EA-02, signed December 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

###