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Hearing on Navy’s opposition to defuel underground tanks at Red Hill continues

Public hearing to continue Tuesday morning on Navy's opposition to defuel underground tanks at Red Hill amid ongoing water contamination crisis.
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 8:42 AM HST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2021 at 9:07 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is continuing its hearing over the Navy’s case to contest the Department of Health’s emergency order to suspend operations at the Red Hill fuel storage facility continues.

The virtual meeting can be viewed live on YouTube and will be posted online after it’s done. The hearing began on Monday and is scheduled to continue on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Earlier this month, the DOH issued an emergency order, demanding the Navy suspend operations at the Red Hill fuel storage facility and safely remove fuel from the 20 underground storage tanks.

The Navy said it would contest the order, citing security risks.

So far, Navy officials have suspended operations, but they are resisting the order to defuel the underground tanks.

Some Hawaii leaders have criticized Navy officials over their communication with the public, accusing them of downplaying the contamination.

“I do think the Navy is trying to spin this a little bit too hard,” U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said. “This is bad news for the environment this was bad news for servicemembers. This was bad news for Oahu residents and they just have to admit it.”

On the first day of the hearing, the Board of Water Supply said the impact of the fuel contamination is wider than suspected.

This story will be updated.

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