(BIVN) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided an update on the status of the Munitions Response Site Sector 15, or Pu‘ukapu, within the Waikoloa Maneuver Area, a Formerly Used Defense Site.
From the USACE:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reached a significant milestone in the Waikoloa Maneuver Area with the signing of the final Record of Decision for Munitions Response Site Sector 15, or Pu‘ukapu, and the selected decision that No Further Action is needed at the site to protect human health and the environment.
The ROD and NFA actions mark the end of response actions at the 11,200-acre property in South Kohala (see attached map).
The Hawaii State Department of Health, the lead regulatory agency, has concurred with this decision.
“This is a tremendous milestone for the Hawai‘i Formerly Used Defense Site program, our partners and the community,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Pevey, commander USACE Honolulu District. “With limited land here in Hawai‘i, every acre that’s mitigated and repurposed is a success toward restoration of lands.”
MRS Sector 15, part of the WMA Formerly Used Defense Site, is located east of Waimea, on Hawai‘i island, and primarily comprised of Pu‘ukapu Hawaiian homestead land with leases designated for residential, agricultural, and pastoral use, and includes Kūhiō Village and Kanu o ka ʻĀina school. The historical evidence shows that the MRS did not include live fire training during the World War II era, and, within the site, no physical evidence of military munitions use during training has been found in the MRS.
“This announcement has been a long time coming,” said Katie Ducatt, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands deputy to the chair. “We mahalo all those involved in ensuring the safety of future homesteaders in the Waimea area.”
The multi-year remediation effort summarized in the document concluded that there is no evidence of use of munitions and explosives of concern and therefore no presence of the materials found in munitions known as munitions constituents. During the investigation, over 12,000 detected anomalies were dug to visually determine either presence or absence of MEC. Only one MEC item was found, which was determined to be an anomalous find rather than the result of military munitions operations being conducted in Sector 15.
“We’re confident in the decision presented in the ROD and know that together with our partner agencies we’re making progress at the WMA to set conditions for the future use of this land to support the beneficiaries development and the greater community of Hawai‘i,” said Pevey.
Sector 15 is one of 22 unique MRSs in the WMA FUDS that are all in various phases of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liabilities Act process.
The Record of Decision is available for reference at the Thelma Parker Memorial Library (67-1209 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela, HI 96743-8429). A digital copy can be downloaded (here).
USACE Honolulu District executes the Hawai‘i Formerly Used Defense Site program. The FUDS program is dedicated to protecting human health and the environment by investigating and cleaning up past DoD activities; safety is the top priority.