Hawaii County DU resolution hearing Wednesday, May 7th
"angel pilago" <KAPILAGO@co.hawaii.hi.us>, "Bob Jacobson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Brenda Ford" <email@example.com>, "Dominic Yagong" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Donald Ikeda" <email@example.com>, "emily naeole" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "john yoshimoto" <email@example.com>, "Pete Hoffmann" firstname.lastname@example.org
Testimony in support of Resolution 639-08 on Depleted Uranium, May 7, 2008
Mahalo Councilmember Naeole and others for introducing this resolution.The military needs to practice what all of our mothers taught us and what Mother Earth is demanding of all humanity today: "Clean up your mess!" There is no safe level of radiation. The radiation contamination on the mountain at the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) will sooner or later run down hill and blow down wind. We are all down hill and down wind of PTA here on Hawaii Island.
The military acknowledges there is Depleted Uranium (DU) radiation contamination at PTA. However, the military says that it does not yet know the full extent of the radiation contamination at PTA. In the meantime the military said it is not going to halt live-fire that could spread the contamination. That is totally irresponsible and shows contempt for the health and safety of residents, visitors, and the troops who train at PTA.
All that it takes is one breath of invisible DU oxide to cause an increased risk of serious health problems including cancer. That's why measuring radiation spikes is important.At a Malu Aina sponsored protest of the Saddle Road official opening on May 29, 2007, citizen radiation monitors detected several spikes of radiation at Mauna Kea State Park which is adjacent to PTA. That day the Kona winds were blowing directly off the PTA 50,000-acre impact area located less than 2 miles from Mauna Kea State Park. The northeast corner of the Impact Area closest to the park is where radiation contamination from Davy Crockett nuclear weapon spotting rounds was confirmed by the military. The highest reading on May 29th was 75 counts per minute (cpm) which is several times the background readings of 5-20 cpm. Immediately, there should be established a high tech monitoring sytem around PTA to detect radiation spikes comming off PTA. Citizens should be able to access the data 24/7 via their home computers and the monitors should have a paper trail of all readings. In addition all the people involved in the Saddle Rd ground breaking ceremony and the citizens that day protesting should be provided, at Army expense, medical testing for DU exposure.
The military has rejected community involvement of Dr. Lorrin Pang, M.D., myself and others calling for a thorough radiation assessment process and a comprehensive site survey to assure transparency and the confidence of the community. Why is the military stonewalling the community and what are they trying to cover up?"It is likely that there is far more radiation contamination at PTA than just the Davy Crockett spotting rounds which the military was forced to admit. There have been more than 60 different nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal. Have hundreds of spotting rounds been used just for the Davy Crockett and not for any other weapon system? I don't think so! In addition, today the U.S. has millions of rounds in a wide variety of depleted uranium (DU) penetrator munitions used to pierce armor. DU is also used in bunker busters bombs and cruise missiles as well. The military only says that it does not train in Hawaii with DU penetrators, not that it HAS NOT trained in Hawaii with such weapons. It is a sad fact that the military can not be trusted to tell the truth. The Army has lied to us before. Here on the Hawaii Island the Army got a lease of state land in the Hilo watershed back in the 1960s, around the same time they were testing Davy Crockett at PTA. They told the state they wanted to do "weather testing" in the Waiakea forest area near Hilo. The Army lied. They were doing secret deadly nerve gas testing in the Hilo watershed with with chemicals so deadly that 1/50th of drop will kill you. The late patsy Mink, bless her soul, exposed the secret nerve gas testing near Hilo. All hell broke lose. Mayor Kimura and others protested. The state was forced to cancel the lease.
At Pohakuloa today, the military is paying a total of only $1 for 65 years for 109,000-acres of ceded land that it is contaminating with unexploded ordnance, radioactivity and other toxic chemicals. Some of that ceded land was simply seized again from Kanaka Maoli by a 1964 presidential executive order at no cost. But tens of thousands of acres was leased in 1964 for 65 years by the State of HawaII BLNR to the military for $1 . If any person was leasing his/her house or aina to someone and the lessee was trashing the place, the owner would cancel the lease. It's time the state, on behalf of the people of Hawaii, the county of Hawaii, issue an eviction order to the military, cancel the lease,.and demand the military clean up its mess, pay for damages and return the land to its rightful owners -- the Kanaka Maoli. It's time to stand up and echo the call of the Kaho`olawe movement -- stop the bombing! It's time to protect the aina and the people. It's time for the military to clean up its opala. Mahalo.
Malu `Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box AB `Ola`a (Kurtistown), Hawaii 96760 Phone 808-966-7622
email email@example.com www.malu-aina.org