One spill too many…It’s time the US Navy left Hawaiʻi

One spill too many…It’s time the US Navy left Hawaiʻi

There was another spill at the US Navy’s Red Hill storage facility. This time its 1300 gallons of aqueous film fighting foam (AFFF), designed as a retardant for fuel fires.  it contains chemicals known as PFAS  which are considered to be “forever”chemicals,  they do not break down naturally over time, are known to cause cancer and other serious health issues. PFAS are considered to be so dangerous, that the particles are a threat in parts per trillion. That means it requires significantly more care to clean than other chemicals. Most states and countries have banned its use. Congress has banned the military from disposing of it through incineration.

But if any part of this spill makes its way into our fresh water supply or into the ocean to be consumed by fish, we are in serious trouble. Because it is through fish consumption that the greatest threats to human health exist.  The Navy doesn’t know when or how the leak happened, but now it is attempting to clean its mess in the same half hazard way it has treated every environmental disaster since it first arrived on our shores – through lack of transparency, band aid fixes and blatant denial of harm. Those workers who are charged with cleaning the Navy’s mess, are placed in grave danger. PFAS are a threat in the soil, in water, in the air, anywhere.

Illegal occupation got us here, decades of deregulation have gotten us here, constant environmental exceptions for the US military and the state turning a blind eye have gotten us here. The lack of accountability by US Navy is posing the greatest threat to our health and safety on our ‘āina. It should be clear now more than ever, that the military is not here for our protection, because it makes no effort to protect its own workers or their families. We, keep us safe. The military makes excuses. We have had enough. Navy, itʻs time to go…


  1. We deserve clean and safe water and soil. The Navy is poisoning both. Again. This time with “forever chemicals” that cause cancer and other health issues and take thousands of years to degrade.
  2. We demand the Navy clean all parts of the AFFF spill and continue to remove all fuel and petroleum from the Red Hill Storage facility. No fuel, no AFFF.
  3. We will set the Navyʻs timeline for cleanup. Their delays put all of us in grave danger.
  4. We demand that state and federal regulators exercise their powers to the fullest extent. Our lives and futures are at stake
  5. We demand legislators stop claiming that the militaryʻs presence is good for the economy. The military has proven repeatedly that their presence is costing us much, much more in loss and damage.
  6. We demand the return our ʻāina. We, the Kanaka Maoli and the people of Hawaiʻi, are the rightful stewards of the land, not the military.
  7. We demand the U.S. Navy leave our home…forever.


While sign waving and marches are important, they get the blood flowing, petitions and testimony put us on record, but  we need much, much more than this if we are going to win. We need  political education , we need to organize in principled ways and we need comprehensive strategies. Reach out to us, if you want to work together to build power and develop clear strategies across the pae ʻāina and the Pacific.