As West Hawaii Today reports, Moku o Keawe (Hawai’i island) turned out to oppose a proposed plan to expand and renovate Army training sites at Pohakuloa. The Army seeks to move live fire training from Makua to Pohakuloa rather than reduce the overall impacts in the islands. On Wednesday, the Army announced that it would end live fire training in Makua and instead conduct counterinsurgency training there while moving the live fire training elements to Pohakuloa.
The Army is proposing to do a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for its expansion plans in Pohakuloa. The PEIS is a broad environmental impact review that considers impacts in the most general and superficial way. It is usually accompanied by subsequent Environmental Assessments (EA) for the individual components of the project. However, EAs are far less substantial in their investigations than normal Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) and are not subject to the same requirements for public participation in the environmental review and decision making process. This use of PEIS coupled with EA is a common trick of federal agencies to avoid serious public scrutiny of its actions. We should strongly oppose this approach and demand that each individual project have its own environmental impact statement with full public participation.
Comments must be received by Feb. 7. Comments may be mailed to PTA PEIS, P.O. Box 514, Honolulu, HI 96809, faxed to (808) 545-6808, e-mailed to PTAPEIS@bah.com.
Public pans Army plan
by Erin Miller
Modernizing PTA runs counter to sentiments at meeting
Will the Army and the federal government listen to island residents this time?
That’s the question Isaac Harp posed during a public meeting this week at Waimea Elementary School. Army officials were taking comments Wednesday evening on a plan to modernize Pohakuloa Training Area.
“What percentage of people need to oppose your project before you stop?” Harp asked. “The public doesn’t want it. The people’s voice needs to be important here. They’re robbing us of our enjoyment of life. I’m tired of coming to these meetings and talking and wasting my time. It doesn’t change anything. It’s just to make the people feel they’re being included.”