The Hawaii senator has made defueling the WWII era tanks a priority ever since a 2021 leak sickened thousands on Oahu.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono was appointed to a subcommittee that will have key oversight responsibilities related to the Navy’s decommissioning of its bulk fuel storage facility at Red Hill.

On Wednesday, Hirono’s office announced that she was named as chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, which oversees military training, logistics and maintenance, including for on-base housing.

Senator Mazie Hirono conducts a hearing with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough held at the Oahu Veterans Center.
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono plans to use her new position to ensure the Navy closes its Red Hill facility. (Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022)

Red Hill has been a primary focus for Hirono and the rest of Hawaii’s federal delegation after a series of fuel leaks poisoned water supplies on Oahu and sickened thousands.

Together, the delegation has secured $1 billion to defuel and close the World War II era facility, which has posed significant public health risks for many years, including long before the 2021 leaks came to light.

In addition to readiness, Hirono will continue her work on the Seapower Subcommittee, which also has direct oversight of the Navy and Marine Corps. She previously was the chair of that subcommittee before taking the new assignment.

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