The Navy has been on the hot seat lately for the damage it has caused in Hawaii nei. In central and western Oahu, the Environmental Protection Agency and the state got a commitment from the Navy to clean up any remaining contamination at two Superfund sites – one in Lualualei near the naval munitions storage area and the other in Wahiawa. While preliminary investigations have indicated that no immediate threats currently exist at the sites, soil contaminants at the sites include PCBs, volatile organics, semi-volatile organics and metals. PCBs can cause cancer in animals and adversely affect the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems in humans.
“Our agreement with the Navy and the state finalizes the process that the Navy will follow to complete the investigation and clean up of any remaining chemical contamination at both sites.” said Keith Takata, director for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region’s Superfund Division.
The agreement with the Navy is open to public comment. Get your say in now by visiting: www.epa.gov/region09/NavalComputer
Check out the full article at The Hawaii Independent: http://www.thehawaiiindependent.com/hawaii/oahu/2009/04/02/epa-us-navy-agrees-to-clean-wahiawa-lualualei-superfund-sites/
And, on the South shore of Oahu, controversy is brewing as the state attempts to hold the Navy financially responsible for the carnage of coral from the USS Port Royal grounding in February 2009. Ten acres of ancient coral was destroyed! Chunks as large as cars are still bouncing around on the ocean floor causing further damage.
“There is a critical need for the U.S. Navy to mitigate the damage which has occurred, which continues to occur, and which will get worse with the upcoming south summer swell,” said Laura H. Thielen, chairwoman of the DLNR, in the letter.
“We urge the U.S. Navy to commit appropriate resources to rescue disturbed or destroyed coral, remove or stabilize rubble, and protect loose live coral that has resulted from this incident.”
Here, here!! Systems that ensure the “polluter pays” are a completely reasonable (and actually quite capitalist) approach to addressing damage to our environment. The Navy’s negligence destroyed a significant part of our ocean environment. They should be required to pay for the injury they have caused and do all they can to prevent further damage.
What the Navy does in this situation will be a key indication of what the public can expect from their activities affecting the Papahanaumokuakaea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (you will recall the Navy plans to intercept chemical-laden missiles over Nihoa – the only home of at least four endangered species and one of the most significant cultural and archeological sites in the archipelago).
Check out the full article here: http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090402/NEWS11/904020369/1001