Washington, D.C. — Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the Department of Defense’s (DoD) decision to appeal the Hawaii Department of Health Emergency Order on Red Hill:
“Yesterday evening, I had a conversation with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks about DoD’s announcement to contest Hawaii’s Red Hill Emergency Order. During our call, she reiterated that the intent behind the appeal is to provide the necessary time to continue working towards a solution with the State.
“This must happen expeditiously and without any unnecessary delays. Let me be clear: the safety and well-being of the people of Hawaii must be the top priority. I will oppose any appeal by DoD that challenges the State’s authority to regulate Red Hill operations.
“I will continue to hold the Navy accountable for complying with the requirement to develop a safe defueling plan while the DoD works with the State to develop a long-term solution for Red Hill.
“I urge all parties to continue working together to reach our shared goals of protecting Oahu’s drinking water, well remediation, returning families to their homes, and developing and implementing a plan for the future of the strategic fuel reserve for our national security.”