Secretary of the Army addresses Red Hill concerns, but residents remain dissatisfied

The secretary of the Army answered a question people have been asking for months, regarding hazard relief pay for tainted water victims.
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 10:43 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2023 at 10:47 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Secretary of the Army is on Oahu connecting with military members to try to improve their quality of life, but some Red Hill families were not satisfied.

Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth is in Hawaii to focus on aging infrastructure and quality of life issues.

But during Tuesday’s town hall at Schofield Barracks, many questions circled back to the tainted water crisis at Pearl Harbor.

“Will those military members who have suffered from poisoning ... have any sort of like hazardous duty pay?” asked Retired Army Colonel Ann Wright.

“At this point in time, we are not contemplating some sort of hazardous duty pay,” said Wormuth.

Army Major Amanda Feindt, who believes her family was sickened by the 2021 fuel spill, attended the town hall virtually from Colorado.

Feindt has repeatedly gone to the nation’s capital asking military leaders for hazard relief pay, especially for those still buying bottled water.

“I think every single person on that Navy drinking water system is entitled and deserves hazardous duty incentive pay,” said Feindt.

Besides turning down that request Tuesday, Secretary Wormuth also faced questions about the military’s hotline for Red Hill families to set up appointments at a new dedicated health clinic.

It turns out the hotline was a national number, adding to the frustration of tainted water victims who thought they were finally getting the attention they deserved.

“These families are spending hours on the phone, speaking to nurses all over the place, and they don’t have a clue,” said Feindt. “I think it’s awful.”

“I know, there were some, you know, rocky periods in terms of getting the phone tree set up, but I think we’ve worked through that,” said Wormuth. “I think the clinic offers a lot of different medical specialties, and there are appointments available.”

Patients can schedule an appointment by calling the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line at 800-874-2273.