Read the full article by Christina Jedra (Honolulu Civil Beat)

“Hawaii’s congressional delegation is calling for an investigation into the Navy’s response to firefighting foam spills at its World War II-era Red Hill fuel facility in Honolulu.

The lawmakers said on Monday that they want the U.S. Government Accountability Office to immediately look into a leak of an estimated 1,300 gallons of toxic firefighting foam concentrate at Red Hill earlier this month.

They are also pushing for answers about a prior spill that was uncovered by Civil Beat this week. An estimated 5,000 gallons of water, tainted with firefighting foam, flooded an underground pump house at Red Hill in September 2020, but the Navy allegedly told the health department at the time that no firefighting foam had been released.

In a letter to Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie K. Hirono and U.S. Reps. Ed Case and  Kai Kahele said Dodaro’s office should investigate whether the Navy adequately cleaned up those spills and whether the military inappropriately withheld information from regulators.

‘This community and the people of Hawai‘i deserve answers regarding how the Navy undertook efforts to address these incidents and complete the clean-up and remediation of impacted sites,’ the lawmakers wrote.

The firefighting foam the Navy uses is called aqueous film forming foam, or AFFF. It contains a class of chemicals called PFAS that are associated with a litany of health problems, including cancer, low birth weight and impacts to the immune system. They are called ‘forever chemicals’ because they don’t break down in the environment.” …