The Threat Underfoot

Contaminated sites in Honolulu monitored by the Department of Health.

Hundreds of chemically contaminated sites across the state now sit in areas that may, in the near future, be inundated by flooding from either above or below ground, or both: Parks sitting atop incinerator ash fill. A shooting range. Harbors with a decades-long history of underground fuel leaks …

Historically, so long as the contamination remained relatively protected from surface waters that might carry it elsewhere, the state Department of Health has generally let these sites be.

But as the seas rise and high tides and severe storms become more frequent, the threat these sites pose could be vast, according to the state Department of Health.

Teresa Dawson explains.

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