June 16, 2022

Hirono Secures $1 Billion for Red Hill Closure, Other Key Priorities for Hawaii and Pacific Region in Committee Markup of the National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today secured several key priorities for Hawaii and the U.S. military during the Committee’s markup of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The provisions Hirono secured deliver robust investment in Hawaii, strengthen the military’s national security presence in the Pacific, and promote environmental sustainability. Additionally, Senator Hirono secured provisions authorizing the closure of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on Oahu and $1 billion in funding for the closure.

As the center of operations in the Pacific region, Hawaii plays a critical role in our national security, so I’m glad this year’s NDAA includes important provisions to support Hawaii’s role in protecting and defending our country,” said Senator Hirono. I fought to include provisions to authorize and provide $1 billion in funding for the permanent defueling and closure of Red Hill, while ensuring proper environmental remediation. From advancing critical military construction projects in Hawaii to providing servicemembers with the tools to plan their futures, this year’s NDAA will enable our military to better address the threats of today and plan for the threats of tomorrow. I’d like to thank Chairman Reed and our colleagues for a productive and successful markup of this bill, and I look forward to helping pass it through the full Senate.”

As a member of the Armed Services Committee and Chair of the Seapower Subcommittee, Senator Hirono secured several critical provisions for Hawaii and our nation in the FY23 NDAA, including language to:

Red Hill

  • Authorize the closure of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on Oahu and $1 billion in funding to support the closure.
  • Develop plans for
    • the closure, clean-up, monitoring and maintenance and post-optimal closure care for the facility;
    • environmental remediation of ground water at the facility;
    • how the Department will coordinate with state regulatory authorities, water utility authority, state environmental agencies and surrounding community;
    • improvements to process, procedures, organization, and training; and
    • measures to ensure future strategic assets are properly maintained.
  • Direct the Department of Defense (DoD) to appoint a single point of contact to lead the closure of Red Hill and conduct an independent assessment of optimal post-closure care for the Red Hill facility.
  • Establish a water monitoring program at the facility.

Delivering for Hawaii

  • Direct the Secretary of the Navy to pay for the cost to transfer customers off the Navy’s electrical system at Kalaeloa to a new system operated by Hawaiian Electric.
  • Mandate the construction of a waterfront production facility at Pearl Harbor Naval Ship Yard and authorizes up to $40 million in funding for planning and design of the facility.
  • Authorize $421 million for the replacement of Dry Dock 3 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham (JBPHH).
  • Authorize $7 million for the construction of an aircraft maintenance hangar at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay.
  • Authorize $10 million for the construction of missile magazines at JBPHH.
  • Authorize $57.9 million for the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay.
  • Direct U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) to conduct a study on future land and facility needs in Hawaii, noting that INDOPACOM has an obligation to return land that is not deemed essential.

Strengthening Our Ability to Protect the Pacific Region

  • Direct DoD to submit a plan to meet readiness requirements identified by INDOPACOM.
  • Direct INDOPACOM to submit a report on the international agreements necessary to achieve the necessary force presence in the Pacific, and a plan for entering into those agreements.
  • Direct DoD to submit a plan to Congress on how to achieve INDOPACOM’s identified force posture requirements.
  • Direct the Secretary of the Navy to implement the Comptroller General’s recommendations to the Shipyard Improvement Optimization Plan (SIOP) to better understand anticipated costs of the program.
  • Set a floor of at least 31 amphibious assault ships in the U.S. fleet.
  • Authorize $436 million for INDOPACOM theater campaigning.
  • Authorize $19 million for the  Pacific Multi-Domain Training and Experimentation Capability (PMTEC) to connect training ranges across the Pacific.
  • Authorize $3 million for INDOPACOM Fusion Centers to support collaboration and information sharing across the Pacific region.
  • Authorize $8 million for the Asia Pacific Regional Initiative (APRI) to strengthen the U.S. military’s relationships with Pacific region partners.
  • Authorize funding for new E-7 aircraft to replace ageing E-3 aircraft in the Pacific theater.
  • Authorize $250 million for LPD Flight II Advance Procurement to support the procurement of additional amphibious transport docks.

Prioritizing Sustainability

  • Require DoD to transition to fully electric or zero-emission non-tactical vehicles by the end of 2030.
  • Authorize $175 million for the Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative (REPI) to make military installations more resilient to climate change and land use conversion.
  • Authorize $25 million for the Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program (ERCIP) projects at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, which are DoD projects that improve energy resilience, save energy, and reduce DoD’s energy costs.

Additionally, Senator Hirono secured a provision directing the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess DoD’s compliance with Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination, at schools run by the DoD Education Activity (DODEA).

Committee approval is the first step in the process to establish defense funding levels and set policies for the DoD. The bill will next be debated and voted on by the full Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives will debate and advance its own separate bill.  Once both the Senate and House pass their versions of the NDAA, they must be reconciled by a bicameral conference committee, and then approved by each chamber before a final version is sent to the President to be signed into law.

Video of Sen. Hirono speaking about the NDAA’s provisions to authorize the closure of Red Hill is available here