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Civil Beat: ‘We Can Take On This Goliath’: Oahu Water Chief Ready To Fight Navy Over Red Hill

December 29, 2021

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply’s manager and chief engineer said on Tuesday that if the Navy refuses to drain its Red Hill fuel facility, the water utility is prepared to fight to protect the aquifer underneath it.

Ernie Lau, whose longtime warnings about the fuel facility’s threat to drinking water were realized this year, said at a press conference that the Navy should follow an order from the Hawaii Department of Health to empty its fuel tanks.

“The Board of Water Supply will not give up,” Lau said. “We are in this for the long haul. We’ve been in this for eight years. We will not stop. I’m not trying to threaten the Navy, but understand that you are going to need to deal with us, whether you like it or not.”

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