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Schatz, Case Lead Bipartisan Legislation To Track, Study Long-Term Health Impacts Of Red Hill Water Contamination, Provide People Affected With Access To More Federal Assistance

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Representative Ed Case (D-Hawai‘i) introduced bipartisan legislation to collect data, study, and help better understand the long-term health impacts of those exposed to water contamination from the Red Hill fuel leak. The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) in the Senate and U.S. Representative Jill Tokuda (D-Hawai‘i) in the House of Representatives.

“People who were exposed to toxic fuel from this leak should know what kind of impact that might have on their long-term health and what kind of additional federal help they can get,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. “This study will give doctors, public health experts, and those affected by the leak a better understanding of what that kind of exposure can do to someone’s health.”

“Throughout the Red Hill crisis, our Hawai‘i delegation has highlighted and pursued not just the expeditious and safe defueling and closure of Red Hill, but the fullest possible identification and treatment of health consequences for the thousands exposed to tainted water,” said Representative Case, a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. “Last year’s National Defense Authorization Act included a directive I sought to have the Department of Defense track the long-term health implications of fuel leaks from Red Hill in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. This measure further expands our efforts to ensure that these health concerns will continue to be monitored and addressed beyond the immediate crisis so that we can fully understand and remedy any and all impacts.”

The bipartisan Red Hill Health Impact Act would create a registry to track and collect health data from those exposed to the Red Hill fuel leak in consultation with the impacted community, and require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work with health experts to conduct a 20-year study to assess the health impacts of those exposed to the water contamination. The bill also requires HHS to work with the State of Hawai‘i and other federal agencies to help identify any additional resources those impacted may have access to.  

The full text of the bill is available here.