2004 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 17 Feb 2004 16:45:34 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Ordnance cleanup proposed in ex-training area
Ordnance cleanup proposed in ex-training area
By Travis Loop
Sunday, February 15, 2004

*One - day evacuations in Waikoloa Village possible*

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to locate and destroy unexploded
ordnance leftover from the 1940s could lead to one - day evacuations of
Waikoloa Village residences in mid - March.

Waikoloa Village is within the boundaries of the former Waikoloa
Maneuver Area, used by the U.S. military from 1942 to 1946 as a training
camp and live - fire range. Hand grenades, high - explosive shells and
mortar rounds were among the munitions fired 60 years ago.

Because the area was never thoroughly cleaned up, an undetermined number
of unexploded ordnance lie within the 123,000 - acre landscape. The
boundaries of the former military maneuver area stretch from Queen
Kaahumanu Highway to mauka of Mamalahoa Highway, and from Kawaihae Road
to south of Waikoloa Road.

Site cleanup has been launched under the Defense Environmental
Restoration Program - Formerly Used Defense Sites, a Department of
Defense program administered by the Army Corps of Engineers. Cost
estimates for cleaning the entire area are $680 million, but only $10
million has been funded for this fiscal year.

American Technologies Inc., an environmental and energy services company
based in Oak Ridge, Tenn., has been contracted by the Corps of Engineers
to survey the area, locate anomalies that could be ordnance and unearth
potentially explosive materials.

The survey work that began two weeks ago has revealed numerous anomalies
in the vicinity of Waikoloa Village. Eight anomalies lie in a common
area adjacent to Waikoloa Community Park inside the community.

"There is no telling what those anomalies are yet until we dig them up -
we evaluate them on a case by case basis," said John Wells with
Donaldson Enterprise in Honolulu, the company subcontracted to destroy

"Often what we find doesn't have a functional firing system or is a pile
of fragments that previously exploded. The failure rate of ordnance is
pretty minimal. These anomalies could even be discarded rebar cuttings
from nearby construction," Wells added.

During military training, the area near Waikoloa Village received the
heaviest artillery fire, including 155mm shells, which have a
fragmentation zone that is one mile in diameter.

If any of the anomalies near Waikoloa Village turn out to be unexploded
ordnance, evacuations of residences and businesses within the potential
fragmentation zone could take place, said Chuck Streck, ordnance studies
program manager for the Honolulu district of the Army Corps of

"If and when we have to evacuate, it will be done as a safety precaution
- we would be remiss to allow people to be exposed to a potential
explosion," Streck said. "We will have a programmed evacuation for a one
day duration, hopefully, where people are notified well in advance
through door - to - door visits, town meetings and the media."

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