Calling the Navy’s water contamination crisis a “humanitarian and environmental disaster” that puts the public in imminent peril, a Hawaii health department hearing officer on Monday recommended upholding the state’s emergency order to drain the Red Hill fuel tanks.

“The weight of the evidence establishes that the Red Hill Facility, as currently situated, is a metaphorical ticking timebomb located 100 feet above the most important aquifer on Hawaii’s most populous island,” DOH Hearings Officer David Day wrote in a proposed decision and order released on Monday.

“The Red Hill Facility has already damaged human health and the environment and, as currently situated, inevitably threatens to do so into the future. The Navy lacks the ability to control the substantial risks associated with the Red Hill Facility, as currently situated.”

Oahu Water Protectors and supporters demonstrate in opposition to the Red Hill fuel tanks.
Oahu Water Protectors and supporters have demonstrated in opposition to the Red Hill fuel tanks. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

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