UPDATE: After more than a month of fierce struggle, water protectors in O‘ahu have won a first victory over the U.S. Navy. On January 10, the Navy finally agreed to defuel the Red Hill fuel storage tanks, which poisoned a main water source on O‘ahu. They agreed to go along with an order issued by the Department of Health on January 3.
The Indigenous-led Shut Down Red Hill movement forced this concession, but there are still many reasons that the fight against the navy’s occupation of O‘ahu must continue.
Join us in demanding that the 20 giant 79-year-old leaking jet fuel tanks that are embedded in Red Hill above Pearl Harbor Naval Base should be emptied AND shut down to prevent any further damage to Oʻahu’s health and safety.
To: President Biden, Secretary of Defense Austin, Secretary of the Navy, Hawai’i Congressional Delegation, Governor of State of Hawai'i, Director, Hawaii’s Department of Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency
Shut Down 20 Massive 79 Yr. Old Leaking Jet Fuel Tanks
We demand that the U.S. Navy empty and shut down twenty giant 79-year-old leaking jet fuel tanks that are embedded in Red Hill above Pearl Harbor Naval Base and that sit 100 feet above the water supply of Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii. In November 2021, the drinking water for 93,000 residents was contaminated by fuel from these tanks, and two wells closed down.
I urge you to take all necessary steps to see that the fuel stored at the U.S. Navy's Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on Oʻahu is immediately relocated and the facility shut down permanently. In November, fuel from this facility leaked into the drinking water poisoning untold numbers of people displacing thousands from their homes. Local Navy leadership has not responded with the urgency, gravity, or transparency that this disaster demands.
Acting out of concern for the public health and safety of Oʻahu’s residents, Governor David Y. Ige has issued an emergency order to suspend operations and defuel the tanks at the Red Hill facility, yet the Navy seeks to contest this order, and Secretary of the Navy has characterized it as a “request” rather than a lawful order. The Red Hill facility has a long history of leaks and is the largest risk to Oʻahu’s drinking water safety, as it sits just 100 feet above the drinking water resource that supplies almost half a million Oʻahu residents.
There cannot be national security if there is no water security. No one is safe as long as their drinking water is contaminated and continues to be threatened by fuel that should be stored in a safer location. Similar facilities have been shut down in other locations and the technology exists to store the fuel safely above ground. The Navy is choosing not to prioritize Oʻahu’s public health and safety, and instead is focusing on keeping an 80-year-old “engineering marvel” alive.
This situation is beyond dire. That is why we call on you to exercise your powers to shut down the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility and relocate the fuel to a secure facility that does not threaten the health of Oʻahu’s people or environment.