The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) issued a statement today urging the state Department of Health to affirm its Hearings Officer’s proposed decision that the Navy must comply with the state’s emergency order to defuel the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

“The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is disappointed but not surprised at the actions that the Navy took late yesterday in continuing to challenge the state’s emergency order requiring that the fuel be drained from the Red Hill tanks,” said CNHA CEO Kūhiō Lewis.

“Hearings Officer David Day’s review of the 80-year history of the Red Hill fuel tanks demonstrates that the Navy cannot be trusted. His findings indicate that the Navy cannot be trusted to safely and competently operate a vast, poorly designed, antiquated fuel storage system that sits just 100 feet above the aquifer that provides drinking water to half of Oʻahu’s population. His findings further show that the Navy cannot be trusted to be open, honest and transparent with the public about its numerous blunders that caused the aquifer to be polluted with unknown amounts of fuel, resulting in the release of toxic water into residential faucets, making homes smell like gas stations and seriously sickening countless people. And finally, Day found that the Navy cannot be trusted to set aside its own perceived interests to protect the health and safety of the people of Hawaiʻi and to the environment.”

“The health of 400,000 Honolulu residents as well as the well-being of our environment now rests with the Department of Health. CNHA urges the department to affirm Hearings Officer Day’s proposed decision and order. His findings are sound, based on voluminous evidence constituting an accurate and complete record that overwhelmingly leads to only one possible conclusion: that the ongoing humanitarian and environmental disaster created by the Navy can only be mitigated by the immediate defueling of the Red Hill tanks. We ask that the department ʻonipaʻa (stand firm) with Hawaiʻi’s people in defense against the Navy.”