Help the Wai Ola Alliance Protect O'ahu’s Water
Twenty (20) WWII-era underground Navy fuel storage tanks, able to contain up to 250 million gallons of fuel, sit just 100 feet above one of O'ahu’s largest aquifers which supply over 77+% of O'ahu's fresh drinking water. These Navy fuel storage tanks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Facility have leaked in the past and continue to leak, presenting an imminent and substantial threat to O'ahu’s water supply and environment. The Wai Ola Alliance (“WOA”) has begun the 90-day notice period necessary to file a citizen suit against the United States Navy for their violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), and failure to act quickly to provide an immediate solution to the leaks and imminent danger that the tanks currently pose.
Who We Are
Our primary members include community organizer and activist Mary Maxine Kahaulelio; former OHA Trustee and community activist Clarence Ku Ching; former State Senator, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, and current Co-Chair of the Environmental Caucus, Democratic Party of Hawai`i Melodie Aduja; veteran and peace activist Pete Shimazaki Doktor; and Kim Coco Iwamoto, a former Board of Education member and candidate for the House of Representatives in 2022. We are being represented by Sycamore Law Inc., a firm with 30+ years of experience and a specialty in water quality related cases, and Margaret Wille & Associates LLLC, a general practice law firm in Hawai'i with attorneys Margaret Wille, a long-time community activist and former Hawai'i County councilwoman, and Timothy Vandeveer, former Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i from 2016-2018 and founding member (and board chair emeritus) of the Defend O‘ahu Coalition (Keep the Country COUNTRY!), a non-profit comprised of North Shore residents, cultural practitioners, and religious leaders working to preserve agricultural land and open space on O'ahu for future generations. Our subject matter experts include Professor of Environmental Science at West Texas A&M University William Rogers PhD, Environmental Engineer Robert Thomas Jr. P.E., and former Secretary of the California EPA and founder of Santa Monica BayKeeper (now the Los Angeles Waterkeeper ), Terry Tamminen.
The Navy's own studies determined that the Red Hill fuel tanks have a:
27.6% chance of leaking 1,000 - 30,000 gallons of fuel in the next year!
80.1% chance of leaking 1,000 - 30,000 gallons of fuel in the next 5 years!
96.0% chance of leaking 1,000 - 30,000 gallons of fuel in the next 10 years!
99.8% chance of leaking 1,000 - 30,000 gallons of fuel in the next 20 years!
The Navy has stated that it intends to 'invent' some kind of secondary containment solution in 10+ years for its tanks or they will decommission them by 2045 – years past the deadlines handed down by state and federal regulators! We can't afford to wait that long and become the next Flint Michigan.
The Wai Ola Alliance wants and is pressing for a faster response. We seek to “immediately address the continuous imminent threat of a catastrophic failure” with the installation of tank liners, replacement of pipes, and installation of a fuel leak detection system while longer-term solutions are negotiated between the US Navy, the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"), and the Hawai'i Department of Health ("HDOH").
“Red Hill has released fuel into the environment in the past, did so just months ago, and will continue to do so in the future,” our Notice to Sue states. “The Navy has been aware of and on notice for decades that the Facility’s tanks (and associated infrastructure, e.g., pipelines) are antiquated, corroding, leaking, improperly operated and maintained, and at risk of catastrophic failure. Immediate action is required.”
A copy of the Wai Ola Alliance Press Release can be downloaded HERE.
Our Mission and Use of Funds
We are a diverse group of concerned residents who have done the hard work of organizing the necessary legal, political, scientific, and community stakeholders to present a compelling case that the Navy has fiduciary and time-sensitive obligations to protect our drinking water from continued oil spills and must be held accountable. We are now seeking support from fellow concerned citizens to help fund community engagement activities, public relations, internet & media activities, necessary travel expenses, expert witness fees, and other professional services such as reports and studies. All donated funds will be put to direct use as we pursue environmental justice, public health, and Aloha ʻĀina in the Spirit of Aloha .
Donated funds will be administered through a Donor Advised Fund ("DAF") administered and managed by 501(c)3 7th Generation Advisors ("7GA") to ensure contributions will be used to 'Protect the vital water resources and sacred lands that Hawai'i is blessed with' including, but not limited to, the activities as outlined on this GoFundMe site. Donations to this campaign will qualify as a tax-deductible donation.
Mahalo nui loa for your support by sharing, donating, or simply leaving a message of support! Every little bit helps motivate us to keep fighting to save our freshwater!
E Mālama pono,
The Wai Ola Alliance
Check out our recent News Articles:
Wai Ola Alliance
Citizen Group Announces Intention To Sue Navy Over Red Hill Tanks - Nov. 2, 2021 - Civil Beat
New ‘citizen suit’ takes aim at aging Red Hill fuel tanks - Nov. 2, 2021 - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Other Related Articles
Navy says fuel leaked from Red Hill facility near Pearl Harbor - Nov. 22, 2021 - Navy Times
Whistleblower Says The Navy Gave False Testimony About Red Hill Fuel Facility - Nov. 9, 2021 - Civil Beat
Congressional Delegation ‘Troubled’ By Navy’s Red Hill Fuel Leaks And Wants Answers - Nov. 2, 2021 - Civil Beat
Check out these helpful links to learn more about the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility:
- Lauren Bridges
- Quinn Mankowski
- Charles Dodd