January 26, 2022

Senator Hirono Statement Following Meeting with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and Admiral John Aquilino to Discuss the Future of Red Hill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) released the following statement after a Hawaii Congressional delegation meeting with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and Admiral John Aquilino to discuss the Department of Defense’s plans for the future of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility:

“As we continue to resolve this crisis, we appreciate the full focus on Red Hill from the highest levels of our defense leadership. Today, we heard directly from Deputy Secretary Hicks, Admiral Aquilino, the Services and the Defense Logistics Agency about options the Department of Defense is considering for the future positioning of the strategic fuel reserve. During this meeting, I reiterated that my first priority remains immediately ensuring the safety of Oahu’s drinking water, but the DoD also must develop a smart and thoughtful long-term plan to store the country’s strategic fuel reserve needs in an increasingly challenging IndoPacific region.”

In 2014, approximately 27,000 gallons of fuel were released from the Red Hill facility, which sits 100 feet above the aquifer that provides drinking water to a majority of residents on Oahu. Two subsequent leaks in 2021 from pipelines at the Red Hill facility led to contamination of drinking water in communities on the Navy’s water system. 

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