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The U.S. Navy confirmed last week that 1,000 gallons of raw sewage leaked into Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, just two days after Hawaii’s Health Department fined the Navy nearly $9 million for hundreds of safety violations at the military wastewater treatment plant. 

At issue are not only the underground aquifers that supply drinking water for much of the island of Oahu, but also answerability by the military that has long had a contentious presence in Hawaii. 

“I think it’s incredibly important that there is accountability and that accountability begins with the Navy assuming responsibility for the actions and the situations they’ve created,” said Trisha Kehaulani Watson, the vice president of ‘Āina Momona, a Hawaiian social and environmental justice organization. 

The wastewater leak and the fine are just the latest in a series of water crises on Oahu that have been attributed to the U.S. military presence in Hawaii. 

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