The following is a transcript from the above video story:
The future of the military’s use of the Pōhakuloa Training Area was discussed in Washington on Tuesday.
On May 2nd, Hawaiʻi U.S Senator Brian Schatz questioned Army officials during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing.
SEN. SCHATZ: “I want to start with the status of the lease negotiations with the state of Hawaiʻi. In 1964, the United States military was awarded a 65-year lease for 23,000 acres of Hawaiʻi state lands for one dollar. We are now coming up on the potential renewal of that lease, and I think we’re all in agreement that the people of the state of Hawaiʻi are entitled to a fair deal on all leasing moving forward.
“Many of these leases do expire in 2029. That includes Pōhakuloa Training Area, Kahuku Training Area, Makua Valley. And I think where we are all Landing is that promoting our national security and treating the citizens of the state of Hawaiʻi with fairness and respect are not mutually exclusive. In fact, at this point, they’re completely intertwined.
“So secretary, could you just give me an update on the status of the negotiations?”
CHRISTINE WORMUTH, SECRETARY OF U.S. ARMY: “Certainly, Senator Schatz. As you know, we have two environmental impact statements that are underway right now that are relevant to looking the lease agreements. And those, I believe, will be completed at the end of this year.
“Then the next step would be for… the Army to be looking at what we would come forward with as a proposal for what the final agreement would look like. And that record of decision won’t come forward until 2025. So we have we have some time to be talking with, you know … when I was last in Hawaiʻi, I met with Governor Green. Had a very productive discussion with him. I met with leaders from the native Hawaiian community, and we are very much now trying to engage.
“As the environmental impact statements work their way through the process, we are trying to engage with all of the different stakeholders in Hawaiʻi to understand, to help us understand, what the shape of a arrangement might look like.”