Jim Albertini of Malu ‘Aina issued the following statement calling on the military to honor the Hawai’i County Council resolution for a moratorium on live fire training at Pohakuloa, a site contaminated with depleted uranium.
A CITIZEN CALL TO ACTION
The military officially confirmed radiation contamination from weapons training at The Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) on Aug. 20, 2007 . The full extent of the contamination is not known but the military has refused to halt all live-fire until an assessment of the problem has been completed. PTA is located in the center of Moku O Keawe (Hawaii Island) and covers over l33,000-acres. For more than 50 years this sacred area between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea has been used for a wide range of live-fire target practice, from small arms to B-52 and B-2 bombing missions. Up to l4 million live-rounds are fired annually
On July 2, 2008 the Hawaii County Council passed Resolution 639-08 by a vote of 8-l that requests the military with urgency, to address the potential hazards of radiation at PTA with the following eight-point plan:
l. Order a complete halt to B-2 bombing missions and to all live firing exercises and other activities at the Pohakuloa Training Area that create dust until there is an assessment and clean up of the depleted uranium already present;
2. Establish a permanent, high-tech monitoring system with procedures to ensure air quality control;
3. Establish a citizen monitoring system to work closely with Military experts to assure transparency and community confidence;
4. Host quarterly meetings to update and inform the public;
5. Ensure permanent funds are available for the monitoring program;
6. Provide a liaison to the County of Hawaii to facilitate communication between the U.S. Military and the County of Hawaii;
7. Provide semi-annual reports to the Hawaii County Council summarizing depleted uranium monitoring, detection, and mitigation efforts; and
8. The U.S. Military shall conduct a search of all records for firing of Depleted Uranium at the Pohakuloa training Area and all other Hawaii State military sites and release pertinent information to the public…
To date, more than 4 months since this resolution has been passed, there has been NO action by the military to address any of the above 8 points. In fact it is quite insulting to hear military officers who are charged with protecting community health and safety comment that the county council’s call to action “is only a resolution,” and that stopping live-fire at PTA “is not going to happen.” This tells us that our community health and safety is secondary to military training. So who and what is the military defending?
If the military truly cared about community health and safety it would operate on the precautionary principle and halt all live-fire until the full extent of contamination was known. We suspect a lot more than one radiation weapon system called the Davy Crockett was used at PTA. The military has a major conflict of interest as investigator of the problem. It wants to continue live-fire. It does not want to risk finding additional radiation problems that may force shutting down the base.. That’s why we need independent testing and citizen involvement at all levels to assure transparency and community confidence. What appears to be happening is military stonewalling.
Stop the Bombing of Hawaii Island
1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination: anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Ola`a (Kurtistown),
Hawai`i 96760. Phone (808) 966-7622 Email firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.malu-aina.org
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (Nov. l4, 2008 – 374th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office
Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action
Kurtistown, Hawai’i 96760
Visit us on the web at: www.malu-ania.org