US Navy sued over ‘toxic secrets’ — Analysis
Families in Hawaii accuse the military of failing to disclose “catastrophic contamination” of tap water with jet fuel
Four families have sued the US Navy for contaminating the water supply near Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor with thousands of gallons of jet fuel, saying the military harbored “toxic secrets”They failed to correct their severe illness and took no action.
In 2021 at least two fuel leaks from an old World War II storage complex into a well which supplies water to houses and offices around Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. The Navy still has not fully disclosed the extent of this leakage. “catastrophic contamination,”A lawsuit was filed in Honolulu on Wednesday by the US District Court.
“Throughout 2021, as more than 93,000 military service members, their family members, and civilians relied on the government for safe water on the island of Oahu, the Navy harbored toxic secrets,”The lawsuit was alleged. “As the Feindt, Freeman, Simic, and Wyatt families and too many others like them would discover, the water they drank and bathed in was dangerously contaminated. And government officials knew all along.”
Lawyers representing the families indicated that hundreds more plaintiffs would join the suit after they have completed the process for filing such claims against federal government. The Navy didn’t disclose any leaks or severity of contamination to the thousands who continued to drink the water. The filing states that the plaintiffs still suffer seizures, gastrointestinal problems, and neurological issues.
“As these families became sicker from water, the government compounded the families’ suffering,”The lawsuit stated. “First, Navy leadership denied and dismissed their concerns. The families’ questions and concerns were ignored or minimized. Then the Navy denied the families even the most basic standard of care when they turned to military medical providers for help.”
The Navy first confirmed the contamination in December 2021, after initially claiming that a fuel leak was confined to a tunnel that didn’t affect water supplies. Water service was cut off to almost 100,000 residents after the problem was discovered. The incident was called a “hijacking” by Kai Kahele (a Hawaii Democrat). “crisis of astronomical proportions.”
Family members began complaining about bad taste and smell in their drinking water. “All they had to do was say, ‘We see that there’s a problem, we don’t know what it is, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to find out and fix it,’”Cheri Burness is a Navy wife, according to the Associated Press. “That’s all they had to do. And instead, we got: ‘Nope. This is great. It smells great. Bye.’”
According to a Navy investigation, the problem was caused by poor human management. The contamination reportedly affected approximately 6,000 people.
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