By David Corrigan & Stephanie Salazar
POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawaii: In the middle of Hawaii Island, a new military project will be seeking community input.
The public will have a chance to comment on improvements to the Pohakuloa Training Area in the coming weeks.
The Army has announced for the availability of the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (or PEIS) for modernizing of training infrastructure and construction and operation of an Infantry Platoon Battle Area at PTA.
The Army says the proposed action involves upgrading existing ranges to current standards and constructing new ranges; updating and constructing new Soldier support facilities in the cantonment area; and, improving and constructing roads and utilities at PTA. There is no proposed expansion or use above historic levels.
The document specifically evaluates constructing and operating an Infantry Platoon Battle Area that would include a Battle Course, Live-fire Shoothouse, and Military Operations on Urban Terrain facility.
The public is invited to attend the public meetings and encouraged to provide written or oral comments on environmental issues addressed in the PEIS.
A scoping meeting was held in January of this year, and the public testimony was not in favor of the military operations on the saddle – even generally speaking.
But the Army says the upgrades are needed, here at the aging base.
Public hearings will be held on Tuesday, November 8th at Aunty Sally’s Kaleohano’s Luau Hale in Hilo… and Wednesday, November 9th at Waimea Elementary School’s cafeteria.