HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to the red hill fuel tanks.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility located in Kapūkakī has the potential to catastrophically contaminate the island of O‘ahu's United States Environmental Protection Agency Region IX sole source aquifer and permanently affect life throughout Hawai‘i. The legislature further finds that every day that the 104,000,000 gallons of jet fuel remain in the aging facility poses an existential threat to the people of Hawai‘i.
The legislature also finds that the fuel tank advisory committee, tasked with studying issues related to leaks of field-constructed underground storage tanks, including the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, is the only consistent venue for members of the public to receive and request information about the current water crisis as well as the imminent and ongoing threat of devastation posed by the facility.
In addition, the legislature finds that the daily, imminent peril posed by the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, along with the immense public interest in the defueling and closure of the facility and the remediation of existing and future environmental contamination, calls for public updates far more frequently than the twice-a-year meeting schedule of the fuel tank advisory committee. Furthermore, the legislature finds that there have been persistent accessibility issues that have hindered the public, including limited English proficient, low-income, and working-class residents who may be the most severely burdened by the contamination of drinking water, from understanding and participating in committee meetings. Finally, the legislature finds that the composition of the fuel tank advisory committee should be amended.
Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to:
(1) Require the fuel tank advisory committee established under chapter 342L, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to:
(A) Meet on a monthly basis;
(B) Ensure that notice of committee meetings sufficiently informs and notifies limited English proficient residents;
(C) Ensure that committee meetings are held at times, in venues, and under conditions that are accessible to low-income and working-class residents; and
(D) Include in its membership two additional public members from the community at large; and
(2) Include in the membership of the fuel tank advisory committee the Commander of the Joint Task Force Red Hill, a representative of the Sierra Club of Hawai‘i, and a representative of the O‘ahu Water Protectors.
SECTION 2. Section 342L-61, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
§342L-61[ ]] Fuel tank advisory committee; established;
There is established in the department of health the fuel tank
advisory committee, which shall consist of up to [ fourteen] sixteen ex
officio members and at least [ two] four public members.
(b) The ex officio members of the committee shall be:
(1) The director of health, who shall serve as the committee's chair;
(2) The four members of Hawaii's congressional delegation, or their designees;
(3) The president of the Hawaii senate, or a senator appointed by the president of the senate;
(4) The speaker of the Hawaii house of representatives, or a representative appointed by the speaker of the house;
(5) The chairperson of the board of land and natural resources, or the chairperson's designee;
(6) The chairperson of the board of water supply of a county with a population of five hundred thousand or more, or the chairperson's designee; and
(7) The chairperson of the commission on water resource management, or the chairperson's designee.
(c) The following persons shall be invited to participate on the advisory committee as ex officio members:
(1) The Commanding General of the United States Army, Pacific, or the Commanding General's designee;
(2) The Commander of the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy, or the Commander's designee;
(3) The Commander of the Pacific Air Forces, or
the Commander's designee; [
(4) The Commander of the Joint Task Force Red Hill, or the Commander's designee;
(4)] (5) A representative from the United States
Environmental Protection Agency, or the representative's designee[ .];
(6) A representative of the Sierra Club of Hawai‘i; and
(7) A representative of the O‘ahu Water Protectors.
(d) The governor shall appoint at least [
four public members from the community at large in accordance with
section 26-34; provided that the advice and consent of the senate shall not be
(e) The public members of the advisory committee and the ex officio representatives of the Sierra Club of Hawai‘i and O‘ahu Water Protectors shall receive no salary, but shall be entitled to reimbursement for necessary expenses, including travel expenses."
SECTION 3. Section 342L-62, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"[§342L-62] Duties. (a) The advisory committee shall study issues related to leaks of field-constructed underground fuel storage tanks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, Kuahua Peninsula, Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, Hickam Pol Annex, and Schofield Barracks Military Reservation. The advisory committee shall consider:
(1) The short- and long-term effects of leaks of the fuel tanks, including effects relating to the health of residents, safe drinking water, and the environment;
(2) Response strategies to mitigate the effects of leaks from fuel tanks;
(3) Methods to improve communication between the United States Navy, Air Force, and Army; the State; any local board of water supply; and the public in the event of a leak of any fuel tank;
(4) Groundwater test results in relation to the surrounding areas of fuel tank facilities, with a particular emphasis on the groundwater near the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility;
(5) The implications of shutting down any fuel tank facility; and
(6) Updates on progress toward meeting goals of agreement between the State, the affected county, and the federal government.
(b) In carrying out its duties, the advisory committee shall:
(1) Meet at least once per calendar month;
(2) Ensure that notice of meetings includes background information regarding the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility sufficient to inform the public of the wide-ranging impacts that have occurred and may occur in the future, due to the release of fuel or other hazardous materials over O‘ahu's sole source aquifer;
(3) Ensure that notice of meetings is provided in languages identified by the language access advisory council;
(4) Hold meetings outside of normal working hours and in venues that can accommodate individuals with limited mobility, including with adequate nearby parking; and
(5) Consider and accommodate the child care, health, and economic needs and limitations of low-income and working-class individuals.
(b)] (c) No later than twenty days before the convening
of each regular session, the advisory committee shall submit a report of its
findings, including groundwater test results, and recommendations, including
any proposed legislation, to the legislature."
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Fuel Tank Advisory Committee; Composition; Duties
Amends the composition of the fuel tank advisory committee. Adds requirements for the committee as it carries out its duties.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.