bws logo black and white

For Immediate Release
December 23, 2022

Board of Water Supply Comments on the 2023 Consent Order for Red Hill

HONOLULU – The Honolulu Board of Water Supply (BWS) continues to review the draft administrative consent order between the U.S. EPA, the United States Department of the Navy (Navy), and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which was recently released for public comment (the “2023 Consent Order”).   While the BWS supports strong regulatory action to address releases of fuel and other hazardous substances from the Red Hill facility, we are extremely disappointed with the provisions of the proposed 2023 Consent Order which lacks details, clear timelines, strict penalties, and public transparency.   For years the BWS has been sounding the alarm concerning the imminent peril posed by the ongoing fuel storage operations at Red Hill to our irreplaceable drinking water resources, and for the past several months we have been stressing the need for quick and decisive action to defuel and permanently close the facility and restore our drinking water resources.  Unfortunately, these pleas continue to go unheeded.  

The 2023 Consent Order simply does not go far enough.  The draft order does not establish a firm schedule for defueling and closure.  It does not impose mandatory penalties for Navy noncompliance.  It provides no meaningful opportunity for stakeholder and public input or any defined role for external subject matter experts.  Most egregiously, there is no mention of the latest release of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and the impacts of such releases to our drinking water.   Defueling and closure is only the first step in what will be a long process to address the harm to the environment and the human health effects caused by numerous releases from the Red Hill facility, and the investigation and remediation of those releases must be prioritized not neglected.  

The defueling, permanent closure of, and the PFAS releases at the Red Hill facility call for immediate action, complete transparency, and independent and impartial third-party scrutiny, not the same failed policies and oversight practices that led to the contamination of our irreplaceable sole-source groundwater aquifer.  The BWS was not consulted in the development of the draft order and will provide detailed comments once its review of the recently released draft order is complete.

For more information regarding the BWS, please call Kathleen Pahinui at (808) 292-4672.

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) 292-4672