Updated at 2:08 p.m., Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Army finalizes EIS for Makua training
The Army has completed the final environmental impact statement for military training activities at Makua Military Reservation on Oahu, looking at the possibility of resuming live-fire military training exercises at Makua for Army, Marine Corps and Hawaii Army National Guard units.
The final EIS analyzed four alternatives to accomplish the proposed training, as well as a no-action alternative, under which no live-fire training would be conducted. The Army’s preferred alternative involves full-capacity use with fewer weapons restrictions. The Army says many of the munitions used would be consistent with the Endangered Species Act biological opinion established for training at Makua.
Live-fire training ended in 2004 pending completion of the EIS. The military says live-fire exercises are critical to maintaining military readiness and preparing soldiers for combat.
Some of the major potential impacts discusses in the final EIS are associated with soil, surface water and groundwater quality, air quality, cultural sites, natural resources, endangered and threatened species, noise, recreational resources, wildfires and the safety and transport of munitions through the Waianae community. The Army has recommended several mitigation measures that would reduce the overall impacts associated with the training.
The EIS is expected to be published Friday in the Federal Register and may be available to the general public at that time.
Copies of the final EIS are expected to be available at http://www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/makuaeis/ as well as at the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs Office and select public libraries.