Saturday, December 21, 2019

Hirono Secures $21 Million for Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in Year End Spending Bill

mazie hirono

Senator Mazie Hirono's office issued the following:

December 17, 2019

Funding Would Support Construction of a New HVO Field Station in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono successfully advocated for $21 million in federal funding for U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) to build a new field station in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the year end spending package making its way through Congress. The field station is instrumental for HVO to monitor changes and trends at Kilauea and Mauna Loa – both of which are classified as very-high-threat volcanoes under the National Volcano Early Warning System.

“Scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are at the front lines of monitoring, responding to, and protecting us from volcanic activity. Our state saw this first hand last year as HVO scientists worked around the clock to provide constant information about the Kilauea eruption,” Senator Hirono said. “This significant federal investment will support ongoing HVO monitoring at Kilauea and Mauna Loa, and I will continue to advocate for federal resources to support their crucial mission.”

Senator Hirono is a consistent champion of HVO, its mission, and its presence on Hawaii Island. In May, Senator Hirono secured $72.3 million in funding for HVO to rebuild its headquarters and support staff operating in temporary facilities following their displacement from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

During his confirmation hearing in March, Senator Hirono urged then-Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to incorporate feedback from Hawaii Island residents and Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation before deciding whether to move the Observatory to Oahu. Following a meeting in May with Director of the USGS Director John Reilly, Senator Hirono announced that HVO would remain anchored on Hawaii Island.