Hawai’i Residents challenge Army bid to possess depleted uranium

Excerpts from the article below:

Albertini wants the NRC to deny the PTA license, shut down and clean up the 133,000-acre military installation and return the ceded lands to the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Because the NRC, an independent federal agency, has never denied a license, Albertini said, he concedes that scenario is unlikely. Assuming a license is granted, he wants to see stringent restrictions to the military’s actions, including a halt to live-fire exercises and an independent, comprehensive assessment and monitoring program.

Those concerned with the health effects of DU say that it poses a health hazard for anybody who might inhale atomized particles. Some Kona residents in the past have expressed concern that they are at high risk for cancer because they are downwind of Pohakuloa.

“They’re putting the burden on the citizen to prove that we’ve been harmed, and that’s not the way it should work,” Albertini said yesterday.

He also said it was “appalling” to see the number of requirements that citizens have to pass through before they could challenge the government. While the Army’s lawyers and the board will be participating in the conference from Rockville, Md., the petitioners will be speaking for themselves in a small room on the third floor of the University of Hawaii-Hilo’s main library. The petitioners are not allowed to bring in any expert witnesses.



Updated at 8:13 a.m., Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hawaii residents challenge Army bid to possess depleted uranium

By Peter Sur

Hawaii Tribune-Herald

HILO — Four Hawaii residents, including three from the Big Island, are challenging the U.S. Army’s application to possess depleted uranium.

A videoconference hearing tomorrow in Hilo will determine whether the petitioners — peace activist Jim Albertini, the Sierra Club’s Cory Harden, plus Isaac Harp of Waimea and Luwella Leonardi of Waianae — have standing to challenge the Army.

The hearing will also determine whether the petitioners’ arguments have merit.

They will be arguing by videoconference to the three-member Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, which was formed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Army in 2009 said that it found three spotting rounds containing the toxic heavy metal at its training site in Pohakuloa. The Army is also seeking a license to possess DU at Schofield Barracks and seven other sites on the mainland.


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