News, updates, finds, and stories from staff and community members at KAHEA.
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News, updates, finds, stories, and tidbits from staff and community members at KAHEA. Got something to share? Email us at:

Hawaii County Council to Consider DU Cleanup Reso

DU slug

The military finally admitted in 2006 that depleted uranium (DU) spotting rounds for the Davy Crockett nuclear weapon system have been used at Schofield Barracks, the Pohakuloa Training Area, and possibly Makua Valley between 1962 and 1968.

The Army long denied ever using DU in Hawai‘i; reassuring residents in countless public hearings and environmental impact statements that “a records search for depleted uranium rounds was conducted and determined that these types of munitions were never part of the Army’s inventory in Hawai‘i… .”

The U.S. military has an obligation to be candid with the public about its activities in Hawaii because they have far-reaching implications for our health and welfare. The people of Hawaii will be left to suffer the consequences of U.S. military activities long after they have moved on to other fronts. That is why we must be vigilant and demand answers to our questions: Have other DU spotting rounds and the more hazardous DU armor penetrating rounds been used as well? What don’t we know about existing military contamination? What should we know before we even begin to consider pending expansion of live fire activities?

From friends on the Big Island:
The Hawaii County Council will be hearing Resolution 639-08 Urging the U.S. Military to address the hazards of depleted uranium (DU) at the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA). The hearing is set for Wednesday, July 2nd 8:30 AM at the Council room on the 2nd floor of the Hilo Ben Franklin building.

pohakuloa training area (pta), big island. hawaii nei.

You can support by submitting this letter to all Hawaii County council members, urging their support of resolution 639-08.

A growing number of people feel it is time to stop all live-fire and shut down PTA and get to the root of the problem. Stopping all live-fire at PTA is a key public safety and environmental conservation issue. Any live-fire training increases the risk of spreading the radiation contamination. There needs to be a thorough independent assessment and clean-up of the existing contamination before live-fire training can even be considered!

Unfortunately, Council Chair Pete Hoffmann has already prepared an amendment to delete the call for a complete halt to all live firing at PTA which is the heart of the matter. Don’t let this happen!

live fire at pohakula PTA

“… Just as smoking affects the primary user as well as those inhaling second hand smoke, the airborne products of DU burning remain suspended for long periods and travel great distances in the atmosphere. We do not know all the toxicity of the airborne DU products (nano-toxicity) but some forms (DU oxides) we do know can persist in the body for decades. When internalized DU emits the most dangerous type of radiation, alpha radiation. Animals with implanted alpha emitters have shown high cancer rates and birth defects – which can pass on to subsequent, UNEXPOSED generations.

- Lorrin Pang, MD, MPH (speaking as a private citizen). Dr. Pang was born and raised in Hawaii, and is Retired Army Medical Corp, Best Doctors of America list 2006-8, Consultant to the World Health organization (WHO) since 1986, Consultant Glaxo Smith Kline

Federal Court Issues Injuctions, Requires Navy to Do More to Protect Hawaii's Marine Mammals from Harmful Sonar

Posted by kahea at Feb 29, 2008 11:10 PM |

Hawai‘i federal district Judge David A. Ezra today found that the Navy is violating federal law and enjoined it from carrying out its Undersea Warfare Exercises in Hawai’i’s waters without adhering to additional mitigation measures to protect marine mammals. The Navy is also required to take a hard look at the impacts of its high-intensity, mid-frequency active (MFA) sonar by preparing an Environmental Impact Statement.

Earthjustice, on behalf of Ocean Mammal Institute, Animal Welfare Institute, KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Surfrider Foundation’s Kaua’i Chapter, sued the Navy last May. Judge Ezra issued a preliminary injunction after finding the Navy was violating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), and was likely to cause harm if allowed to proceed without greater protections.

He noted the Navy’s harm threshold—173 decibels (dB)—contradicts the best available science, and “cast into serious doubt the Navy’s assertion that, despite over 60,000 potential exposures to MFA sonar, marine mammals will not be jeopardized.” The Court said further the Navy had failed to analyze reasonable alternatives to conducting its exercises in the manner it proposed, failed to notify and involve the public as required by law, and failed to take into account the potential for serious harm from an exceptionally controversial activity.

Learn more about the lawsuit and the impacts of high-intensity mid-frequency (MFA) sonar on Hawaii’s marine mammals.

this gorilla is at least 800 pounds.

Posted by kahea at Feb 22, 2008 08:38 PM |


Amid the newspaper headlines shouting “SUCCESS” over the missile interception of a faltering US spy satellite in the “middle of the Pacific,” we received the following email from Greenpeace guys. They echoed our concerns about the potential of toxics and debris in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands:

(from Martini Gotjé, former crew of the GP vessel Rainbow Warrior)

Here are the coordinates of the maritime warning for this sat to be shoot down by Aegis

220230Z TO 220500Z, 230230Z TO 230500Z, 240230Z TO 240500Z
31-45N 170-12W, 28-24N 166-42W,
23-52N 163-17W, 19-09N 161-29W,
12-41N 161-29W, 12-39N 165-32W,
18-42N 170-57W, 20-31N 172-30W,
27-03N 172-06W.

Note that the marine reserve in the NW Hawaiian Island is for a large part covered by this warning area

The toxic hydrazine what the military is talking about is then of no concern for US DoD to land in a reserve with threatened ocean life!!!!!!

See for the real reason why they want to shoot it down. It’s all secret and new technology and they want to make sure that no one can lay their hands on any piece.

He rightly points out that what we’re really talking about is the impacts and implications of expanding militarization of places–of our oceans, of space.


From an article in yesterday’s Hartfort Courant:

“But even as debris from the shattered satellite began raining down over the Pacific Ocean, there were worries that the U.S. achievement might spur other nations to advance their own anti-satellite programs and turn outer space into a potential battlefield.”

And from an article in today’s Australia’s Hearald Sun:

General Cartwright said radar imagery indicated the SM-3 missile hit the satellite’s fuel tank and obliterated the toxic fuel.

“From the standpoint of ‘can I rule out that hazardous material will fall to the Earth?’, not at this point.

This is occurring in a year of Naval training range expansion, undersea warfare exercises, and expanded 2008 RIMPAC wargames. It is also the International Year of the Reef. We’re talking a lot this year about marine debris, overfishing, and ocean acidification and reef death from climate change and warming oceans. Important, for sure.

But can we in Hawaii–currently the most heavily militarized of the 50 states–really talk about healthy reefs and ocean protection without tackling the question of ever-expanding military activities in Hawaiian waters?


Whether we are actively consenting or not, the train is moving. To do nothing is to move with it. We have a limited amount of time to decide–and to act–on the appropriate and humane global uses of lands, ocean, air, and space. At KAHEA, this is another year of doing. We hope you’ll join us.

(map from John Hocevar, missile photo DoD, and monk seal photo credit: James Watt)

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