Hawaiʻi’s Department of Health is responsible for regulating underground storage tanks and protecting our drinking water. State law specifically directs the Health Department to enact rules that require existing underground storage tanks be upgraded to prevent releases of petroleum into the environment. Their current regulations, however, do not ensure underground storage tanks are properly upgraded.In May, the Sierra Club formally requested the Department of Health to re-do the state's underground storage tank rules. Our suggested rules would require the Red Hill tanks be relocated to a location not above O‘ahu's drinking water within 10 years. At the end of October, DOH finally released draft rules for public comments. Not only did the DOH not agree to our suggested changes to require relocation of the Red Hill tanks, but aligned the draft rules with the Navy's preferred tank upgrade plan (secondary containment by 2045). This is worse than the existing rules, which require secondary containment at Red Hill by 2038.The Department of Health is accepting comments on the draft rules. Submit your written comments below opposing DOH's proposal to weaken the existing rules by extending the deadline for secondary containment until 2045 and support requiring the relocation of these tanks away from O‘ahu's aquifer within the next ten years.
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