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For Immediate Release
March 7, 2022

Board of Water Supply Cautiously Optimistic on Pentagon Announcement on Red Hill Shut Down

HONOLULU – The Board of Water Supply (BWS) is cautiously optimistic regarding today’s announcement by the Pentagon press secretary John F. Kirby that the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility will be permanently shut down. 

“This announcement is a step in the right direction, and we know there is a lot of work to do in the days and months ahead to defuel the tanks and permanently shut the facility down. We have only reached this point through the good work and team efforts by our community, various organizations, and the support of our elected officials at all levels. This decision has been a long time coming and we look forward to the final outcome,” stated Manager and Chief Engineer Ernest Lau.

“We need a timeline from the Navy which identifies when the defueling and decommissioning of the facility will be completed,” Lau said. “Assuming that the Navy is committed to defueling, we expect that the Navy will dismiss their state and federal challenges to the Dept. of Health’s Emergency Order. Further, we assume that the Navy will withdraw their permit application to operate the tanks.  We ask that the Navy confirm that they will take these actions.”

The BWS still has many concerns about the contamination of aquifer by the recent spills and will continue to keep its Halawa Shaft, Aiea Well, and Halawa Well shut down until it is clear that the contamination has been contained at the Navy’s Red Hill shaft. When this will occur is uncertain.

In the meantime, the BWS will continue to move forward with conservation efforts in the Aiea- Halawa (Halawa Industrial Park to Hekaha St.) area and the Metro Honolulu area. Lau stated, “We cannot let our guard down and we need to continue to protect our precious wai. We will be asking our businesses, residents, visitors, and government to monitor their water use and use only what they need. By conserving now, we can be well prepared for the summer months.”

The BWS will continue to watch the situation as it unfolds at Red Hill and stands ready to support where needed.

About the Board of Water Supply

The Board of Water Supply (BWS), a semi-autonomous agency of the City and County of Honolulu, manages Oahu’s municipal water resources and distribution system.  As the largest water utility in the State, the BWS serves approximately one million customers on Oahu.  The BWS embraces its mission of “Water for Life – Ka Wai Ola” – to provide a safe, dependable, and affordable water supply, now and into the future.  Uwē  ka lani, ola ka honua – “When the heavens weep, the earth lives.”  For more information, visit, follow @BWSHonolulu or like the BWS’s Facebook page at



Kathleen Elliott-Pahinui
Information Officer
Honolulu Board of Water Supply
Phone: (808) 748-5319