Resource management

Commission on Water Resources Management supports Red Hill refueling, creates investigative team

The Water Resources Management Commission has expressed support for the state’s emergency order requiring the Navy to empty its Red Hill fuel storage facility.

The commission also voted to create an Authorized Interaction Group, or PIG, to investigate the crisis and make recommendations on actions the commission can and should take to protect the O’ahu aquifer.

The seven-member commission manages the state’s water code and is responsible for protecting Hawaii’s water resources.

During a briefing on Friday, he heard from officials from the State Department of Health and the Navy about the state of cleaning up the water system contaminated with Navy fuel.

Suzanne Case, chair of the commission and chair of the State Department of Lands and Natural Resources, said Hawaiian law limits what the commission itself can do, making the PIG necessary to further investigate the situation. .

“Because we are a Sunshine organization, we cannot have meetings outside of this meeting. We cannot talk to each other except for limited one-on-one conversations, except in this group structure of interaction permitted by law.” , Case said.

Among the issues the PIG will consider include whether the water licenses granted to the Navy should be changed; determine which model of groundwater monitoring will be used to enforce its Navy water licenses; ensure that the commission is part of all discussions on the future of the Red Hill facility; ensuring that all agreed water sampling is carried out.

Members also unanimously endorsed a series of statements underscoring the commission’s support for removing fuel from Red Hill’s storage tanks – and its commitment to help alleviate the crisis in accordance with its legal mandate.