The Department of Defense (DoD) used land on the island of Hawaii to conduct the live-fire training of 50,000 troops, ensuring military readiness from 1943-1945. Many of those trained went on to some of the most hard-fought battles in the Pacific Theatre, to include Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Midway Atoll. Unexploded munitions are the byproduct of live-fire training and following the war, two surface clean-up activities were completed: one in 1946 after the military’s departure and again in 1954.
Today, DoD is responsible for the environmental restoration (cleanup) of properties that were formerly owned by, leased to or otherwise possessed by the United States and under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Defense prior to October 1986. Such properties are known as Formerly Used Defense Sites or FUDS. The U.S. Army is DoD’s lead agent for the FUDS Program.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) executes the FUDS Program on behalf of the U.S. Army and DoD. The U.S. Army and DoD are dedicated to protecting human health and the environment by investigating and, if required, cleaning up potential contamination including munitions that may remain on these properties from past DoD activities.
USACE began investigating WMA in 1993 as a part of the FUDS program. Since then, USACE has conducted field investigations that include surface and subsurface removal of munitions and debris within areas that posed a risk to the public.
What are they and what do they mean to me?
Removal Actions (RA) are the cleanup or removal of MEC from the surface and subsurface investigations as part of a Time- Critical Removal Action (TCRA), or Non Time-Critical Removal Action (NTCRA). The removal process involves metal detection using handheld or digital mapping instruments, excavation of contacts, and disposal of munitions of explosive concern (MEC) or related debris.
Between 2002 and 2016, USACE conducted 26 Non-Time-Critical Removal Actions (NTCRAs) throughout WMA reducing the risk of the public’s exposure to MEC or related debris. To date, the removal and disposal of over 2,700 munitions and 120 tons of debris has been performed.
Join your local Restoration Advisory Board or make your voice heard in its meetings. Our goal is to keep you informed of the ongoing investigation and cleanup along with how and why they are conducted.
Visit with us live or via the web to have your questions addressed during our community meetings and join our email list or text chain to stay abreast of activities in your area or visit our website.