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Hirono Statement on Release of AFFF Spill Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after the Joint Task Force (JTF) Red Hill released the findings and recommendations of its investigation into the aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) spill:

“The Joint Task Force Red Hill investigation found that the hazardous AFFF spill at Red Hill was caused by human error and was preventable,” said Senator Hirono. “It is imperative the Navy hold those responsible for this accident accountable and that they implement the JTF’s recommendations—such as strengthening their quality assurance protocols—to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future. These mishaps erode the public’s confidence in the Navy, pointing to the importance of their handling of the safe closure of Red Hill. I’ll continue working to ensure this result and that the Navy acts with transparency, accountability, and dedication to detail.”

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chair of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, Senator Hirono is working closely with DOD leadership, community leaders in Hawaii, and her Senate colleagues to help ensure the safe and timely defueling and closure of Red Hill. In December 2022, she secured $1 billion in the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act for defueling and closing Red Hill. She also joined the Hawaii delegation in calling for a congressionally-initiated independent investigation into how DOD and the Navy responded to PFAS-based contamination events at Red Hill. In November 2022, Senator Hirono led a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding information about DOD support for families and individuals impacted by the November 2021 fuel release. In April 2022, she hosted Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) in Hawaii for a tour of Red Hill.