Waikane Valley Restoration Advisory Board Meeting
April 15, 2009
7:00 to 9:00 pm
Wai’ahole Elementary School
Public Meeting to discuss the Marine Corps clean up of unexploded munitions in the Kamaka family land in Waikane Valley.
In the 1940s, the military leased nearly 1000 acres of land in Wai’ahole and Waikane Valleys for training with an agreement to return the land in its original condition. One of the families whose land was leased was the Kamaka family, who had 187 acres in Waikane valley. This happened to be one of the areas where the heaviest live fire artillery training took place. After the land was returned to the family in the 1970s, Raymond Kamaka began farming the land until unexploded ordnance began to turn up. When he asked the Marine Corps to clean up the munitions as agreed, the Marines instead moved to condemn the property. After a long legal and political battle the land was condemned. Raymond refused to accept the court’s ruling and the “blood money” from the military.
In 2003, the Marines announced plans to resume jungle warfare training in Waikane, geared to fighting insurgencies in the Philippines. The community blasted the expansion of traning in Waikane and called instead for the clean up and return of the land. The jungle warfare idea was scrapped, but the Marines refused to discuss clean up at that time.
Then quietly around 2006, the Marine Corps officially “closed” Waikane as an active range, which triggered the Department of Defense Installation Restoration Program (IRP) and the commencement of clean up procedures. Clean up procedures under the IRP usually have a joing community-military Restoration Advisory Committee to monitor the design and execution of the clean up.
The Waikane Valley RAB began in 2007 and last met in April 2008. It overseas only the Marine Corps clean up on the Kamaka parcel in Waikane. There is also an Army Corps of Engineers munitions clean up underway in the remaining portions of Waikane valley under a different program, the Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS). The Army program is several years further along than the Marine Corps clean up. It does not have a RAB.