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US military to challenge Hawaii’s decision to drain petroleum tanks


The Defense Department of the United States will appeal Hawaii’s order to drain fuel from a large tank farm that leaked petroleum into the Navy’s water system and poisoned Pearl Harbor’s tap water, a top US military official said in a statement on Monday.

Nonetheless, in a statement, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks stated that the military is continuing to take procedures “compliant with” Hawaii’s order to drain the tanks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

Hicks stated that the military will meet Hawaii’s Wednesday deadline for submitting a work plan and implementation timetable for an independent third-party evaluation. According to Hawaii’s injunction, the Navy must drain the tanks and will not be permitted to use them again until it can demonstrate that it can do so safely.

According to Hicks’ statement, the agency intends to file appeals in both state and federal courts by Wednesday. She didn’t say why she was leaving, but she did say, “This will give us time to make evidence-based and transparent decisions.”

Kathleen Ho, Hawaii’s deputy director of environmental health, expressed disappointment with the decision and said she would go to court to force the Navy to make Red Hill safe.

“The Navy pledged to Congress and in numerous public venues that it would comply with the emergency order,” Ho said in a statement. “Today’s announcement that they plan to challenge the emergency order represents yet another violation of trust between the Navy and the people of Hawaii.”

The state’s order, according to Ho, will remain in place during the appeals process.

The military “made a terrible and unforced blunder that undermines public trust,” according to U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii.

“Fortunately, we have civilian oversight of the military, and this odd and vexing opposition to the defuel order will fail.” “They will lose in court and in Congress,” Schatz stated in a statement.

Separately, Hicks stated that the Pentagon was analysing the disposition of its Pacific fuel supplies. She stated that this will be completed in 60 days so that the defence secretary could determine what to do with Red Hill “going forward.”


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