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HOOSER: Honest review of impacts needed in Barking Sands

The Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands (PMRF) Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice (EISPN) is out, and at first read seems woefully inadequate.

See for yourself,

The U.S. Navy on Kaua‘i holds various lease’s and easements giving them control of approximately 8,000 acres of state public lands on the west side of Kaua‘i, begin expiring in 2027. The Navy wants to either buy the land or extend the leases.

The PMRF situation is similar to what’s unfolding now at Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawai‘i island, and at Kahuku, Kawailoa-Poamoho, and Makua.

The Army pays $1 per year for a 99 year lease of 30,000 acres at Pohakuloa.

Is the U,S. Navy getting the same sweet deal for the lands around PMRF?

Unfortunately, we don’t know because an actual copy of the existing lease doesn’t seem to be included in the EISPN.

The EISPN describes PMRF as: “The world’s largest instrumented multi-domain range capable of supporting surface, subsurface, air, and space operations simultaneously.”

An honest review of impacts (which this is not) would address the fundamental question, “To what degree does the presence of PMRF impact the likelihood of Kaua‘i being a military target and attacked by a foreign power?”

Of course this question is not asked, nor referred to whatsoever.

The EISPN discloses “Activities on the leased parcels at the Main Base include ordnance assembly.”

It states, “Explosives storage and munitions assembly locations have ESQD arcs for explosives safety zones based on quantities and types of ammunition stored in magazines, being transported, and staged on ordnance handling pads.”

Kamokala Ridge “provides ordnance storage for the Navy, Hawai‘i Air National Guard, Department of Energy, and other military commands.”

But nowhere is there any discussion on the type or amount of bombs, bullets, or missiles used, launched, shot, or exploded.

Are uranium tipped rounds, phosphorus bombs, nuclear, chemical, laser or other weapons stored, transported or used in the “surface, subsurface, air, and space operations” being conducted on Kaua‘i?

The purpose of an EIS is to examine direct, indirect, secondary, and cumulative impacts of the action being proposed, and how those impacts might be eliminated or mitigated.

The EISPN states, “PMRF is operated by the U.S. Navy and also provides training and testing services to U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Allied partners (Japan, Australia, Korea, Canada, etc.), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).”

Nowhere in the EISPN is the impact of training foreign armies mentioned, let alone what impact an organization such as DARPA might have.

“PMRF transports ordnance by truck from Nawiliwili Harbor to the Main Base along Highway 50.”

What’s the risk to residents living along the route? Are they notified in advance? What exactly is in those trucks?

The EISPN also says “Hazardous materials currently utilized…include cleaning agents, solvents, lubricating oils, jet fuel, diesel fuel, propane, gasoline, aqueous film forming foam2 (AFFF), chlorine, used oil, and paint.”

A glaring omission from this list are the ingredients necessary for “munitions assembly” and ordnance storage, use, and clean up.

Honestly, there are way too many glaring omissions for me and I have zero confidence the U.S. Navy will provide the genuine and honest disclosure needed for me or anyone to make an informed responsible decision.

So, I’ll be supporting the “No action alternative.”

Please, do your homework, attend one of the below meetings and email your testimony to:

Tuesday, June 4, Kaua‘i Veterans Center; Wednesday, June 5, Kekaha Neighborhood Center; and Thursday June 6, Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach.

Meeting times are 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with project presentation from 6 to 6:30. A “comments station” will be available to provide written and oral comments.
Source: The Garden Island

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