Regular Updates to be Provided in Rebuilding of Volcano Observatory

March 11, 2020, 6:00 AM HST (Updated March 11, 2020, 5:56 AM)
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Sen. Mazie K. Hirono secured a commitment from Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt to provide six-month updates on the progress of rebuilding the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) on Hawaii Island during an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Hirono asked Bernhardt for the commitment.

“I think that we can certainly manage that, Senator,” he said.

Following the structural damage caused by the Kīlauea eruption, Hirono has pushed to ensure that the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory gets rebuilt on Hawai‘i Island.

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Last March, Hirono pressed then-Acting Secretary Bernhardt for a commitment to rebuild HVO on the Big Island. Two months later, the senator secured $72.3 million in the 2019 Disaster Supplemental Bill to fund both the continuation of USGS operations in a temporary space as well as money to construct the new HVO facility.

That same month she announced that USGS Director Jim Reilly committed to rebuilding HVO on Hawaii Island. Senator Hirono also secured $21 million in additional funding to build a separate HVO field station in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

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