VIDEO: Army says Mauna Kea telescopes unaffected by HAMET

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Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar

As we have been reporting all week, the U.S. Army recently invited local media onto the Pohakuloa Training Area base to take a look at the High Altitude Mountainous Environmental Training – or HAMET – planned for the slopes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Army officials offered to answer questions about the data collecting for the environmental assessment process.

The army says that so far, the studies have not shown any adverse noise impacts on the mountain.

From the latest draft EA:

5.8 Noise

Noise effects from proposed helicopter training operations would be intermittently audible in areas near Bradshaw Army Airfield, near PTA, and in the vicinity of the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa LZs. Worst-case noise levels were assessed using DoD’s NoiseMap model (Subsection 4.10). Modeling results demonstrated average noise levels (DNLs) for training operations would be compatible with existing land uses near the LZs when PCH mitigation measures were followed. These noise levels are considered less than significant. While noise sensitivity is species specific and varies among individuals within each species, average noise levels for the combination of any of the proposed Action Alternatives with existing and future noise sources are unlikely to cause excessive disruption or annoyance in noise-sensitive locations in the proposed project area. Thus, the Army concludes that the cumulative noise impacts associated with implementing any of the proposed Action Alternatives would be negligible.

Also, the army says dust has not been a factor, and observatories on the summit have not been effected. Program Manager for the U.S. Army Natural Resources Office at Pohakuloa, Peter Peshut, said the soil types in most of the landing zones do not create dust problems.

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