(Star Advertiser) Council passes resolution on Red Hill fuel tanks

Council passes resolution on Red Hill fuel tanks

(Source: Star Advertiser)

Honolulu City Council on Friday unanimously approved a resolution backing the Board of Water Supply’s position that simply upgrading existing single-wall lining of 18 massive jet fuel tanks under Red Hill is not good enough when they sit just 100 feet above a major aquifer that services much of Oahu.

Honolulu City Council on Friday unanimously approved a resolution backing the Board of Water Supply’s position that simply upgrading existing single-wall lining of 18 massive jet fuel tanks under Red Hill is not good enough when they sit just 100 feet above a major aquifer that services much of Oahu.

Resolution 18-266 urges the federal Environment Protection Agency and the state Department of Health to reject any Navy plan for single-wall lining. Improvements have been demanded by the agencies and the public since a 2014 leak of 27,000 gallons of fuel from one of the tanks. No drinking water was found to be contaminated, but alarms were raised.

BWS Water Manager Ernest Lau said retaining a single-wall lining is essentially maintaining the status quo and poses too big a risk for the city’s water supply. “Once it’s contaminated with fuel — and there’s a tremendous amount of fuel there at Red Hill — it would be very difficult or nearly impossible to clean up the situation.”

Navy Capt. Marc Delao, commanding officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Command, said the resolution could “cost billions and appears to undermine both regulators and a carefully negotiated process to determine a long-term solution.”

The Council also voted Friday to:

>> Give final approval to Bill 70 (2018), introduced by Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga, establishing a restricted parking zone program that would allow residents to designate their neighborhood as one where motorists would need permits to park on the street.

>> Send back to the Budget Committee Bill 3, upping property tax exemptions for owner-occupants on the island. Introduced by Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi, residents with home exemptions would pay roughly $70 less annually.

>> Give preliminary approval to a number of bills that are part of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s $2.83 billion budget package. They include an increase in property tax rates for owners of hotels and resorts, as well as those in the so-called Residential A class, and a plan for a new $5 monthly fee for curbside trash pickup.

>> Give preliminary approval to bills that would incentivize building affordable low-rise rentals and limit the number of parades and other street activities that close off Waikiki thoroughfares.

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