Tuesday, January 25, 2022

New suits filed against housing project on Navy water line as flushing effort continues

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – More lawsuits have been filed involving contaminated water from Red Hill, but they’re not against the Navy.

The two new suits name Kapilina Beach Homes, one of the areas around Pearl Harbor where the water is being flushed and filtered by the Navy under Health Department and EPA oversight.

Kapilina, formerly Iroquois Point military housing, is now mostly home to civilians.

“Defendants were unreasonably slow to warn consumers of the spill, allowing plaintiffs to continue drinking and using the poisoned water,” said one lawsuit. “Plaintiffs have been evicted from their homes without cause due to contaminated drinking water,” added another.

Attorney Michael Green said some of those impacted are being forced to move back to the mainland “because they can’t bathe, they can’t drink the water, they can’t do their laundry in their homes.”

A Kapilina Beach Homes spokesman says the company can’t comment on pending litigation.

“We have also been tirelessly advocating for the Navy to extend its support to cover Kapilina Beach Home’s civilian residents, and we are very pleased that the Navy has confirmed this is occurring,” said a spokesman.

Kapilina also says until the Navy fixes the problem, it’s implementing several measures to assist the residents, including “sourcing larger water bottles, offering credits to offsite laundry delivery services, providing access to shower facilities and continuing to waive all water charges until further notice.”

Over the weekend, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam says its teams tested water samples from a bulk storage tank at Hickam Elementary School to verify the water quality.

On Monday, they started flushing individual homes in the Red Hill neighborhood. That process was OK’d by a multi-agency team after tests following a flushing and filtering of the system.

“The inter-agency water team was able to look at the results this morning and give us the go ahead to start that home flush,” said Capt. Darren Guenther, Navy Region Hawaii commander chief of staff.

The Navy insists its flushing process with granular activated carbon filters removes the fuel contamination.

“We also want to be good stewards of the environment and not put anything into the sanitation, the sewers, any of that, so that is also part of our testing,” said Lt. Cmdr. Marjorie Gruber, commanding officer of Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303.

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.



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