Environmental groups and the Honolulu Board of Water Supply today commemorated the anniversary of the whistleblower revelation that the U.S. Navy failed to disclose the Red Hill fuel spill, and also demanded that the Navy provide for those who continue to report health and water contamination issues.
An event for what was dubbed the “Lie-Aversary” was held this afternoon by the groups and took place outside the Pearl Harbor National Memorial Visitor Center, and participants dressed in black funeral attire while wearing black armbands.
Two jet fuel spills from the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility last year contaminated the Navy’s water supply that served tens of thousands of people on Oahu.
Operational and leadership failures within the Navy led to the spills, and its top officials initially didn’t warn residents of the possible contamination of their water.
“We need true transparency, accountability, and demonstrated actions – and our demands today are the bare minimum steps toward these ends,” said Hawaii Sierra Club Director Wayne Tanaka.
The Pentagon announced this year that it would shut down the Red Hill facility and drain the underground fuel tanks.
The groups at today’s event, which included the Oahu Water Protectors, Hawaii Sierra Club and Hawaii Peace and Justice, also unveiled a petition with the signatures of hundreds of residents demanding the Navy provide medical support and additional water sources for those still suffering from the contamination; ensure that the fuel storage facility is defueled within months; and engage with the public to respond to community questions and concerns.
“The community’s demands are more than reasonable,” said Nani Peterson, member of the Oahu Water Protectors. “Clean up the mess you made in Kapukaki, a marker for the sacred Leilono, and remove your existential threat to the sacred waiola of our island. Take care of the people you poisoned, who you are continuing to harm, to traumatize. And provide us with the truth, a truth that has been wrongfully denied us for far too long.”
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