US military — polluting Hawaii’s water supply… and denying it

The Hawaiian governor issued an emergency order to de-fuel the Red Hill Facility. The US Navy has enlisted top lawyers to make sure its 600m liters of petroleum stay perched above our water supply

This [fuel facility] is not the eighth wonder of the world. It is Frankenstein’s monster. And we have to kill it before it kills us.”

This is the plea from Marti Townsend, one of more than 1,000 Hawai’i residents urging the Honolulu City Council to take action to protect our island’s most important resource: fresh, clean water.

Frankenstein’s monster is the US Navy’s Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility: a massive underground “farm” of 18-million liter fuel tanks and pipes just 100 feet above metropolitan O’ahu. Its construction began before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Since then, it has leaked over 180,000 gallons of petroleum into the groundwater aquifer that provides drinking water for over 400,000 residents and visitors from Hālawa to Hawaiʻi Kai.

Despite its longstanding threat to water systems, this decrepit facility has been in use until operations were “paused” in late November, after hundreds of military families reported rashes, headaches, nausea, vomiting – symptoms of petroleum poisoning.

The Navy denied these facts […]