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Navy not releasing video of toxic foam spill to public

KHON2
KHON2
 2022-12-06
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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Video of the toxic foam spill at the Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility will be shared with the Hawaii Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. But, the navy said it is not releasing it to the public. That’s not sitting well with other agencies, including the health department.

Officials initially said there was no video of the 1,300 gallon spill of the foam called AFFF at Red Hill. But now say there is one that will be shared with DOH and the EPA.

In a statement, the Navy said, “The video and other evidence will not be released publicly at this time as doing so may impact the integrity of the investigation.”

Critics question how releasing the video can harm the investigation.

“What’s done is done. The video won’t change if members of the public see it,” said Wayne Tanaka, director of Sierra Club of Hawaii.

Even the health department is critical. In a statement, a spokesperson said it is consulting with the state Attorney General because the Navy has offered DOH to view the video at a military facility instead of sending a copy.

DOH adds, “It is also imperative that the Joint Task Force makes the video available to the public as soon as possible in the interest of honesty and transparency.”

The Sierra Club says it should be done right away.

“Minutes count and they need to stop foot dragging and just give us all the information that they have available so that we can all work together to prevent any further harm,” said Tanaka.

AFFF is used to extinguish fuel fires and contains PFAs, known as forever chemicals which can cause cancer. The Navy had pledged to be more transparent after jet fuel spilled into the drinking water last year.

In a statement, the Board of Water Supply said, “This decision is not in keeping with the Navy’s promise to increase transparency and improve public confidence. The video is information critical to our understanding the impact of the AFFF incident to our sole source aquifer now and into the future.”

We’ve reached out to the Navy for an explanation on why releasing the video would harm the investigation. But, there’s been no response.

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