02/01/17 – DLNR Installing UXO Awareness Signs In Maunawili Impact Area In Former Pali Training Camp

Posted on Feb 1, 2017 in Forestry & Wildlife, News Releases, Trail

DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
News Release

DAVID Y. IGE
GOVERNOR
SUZANNE D. CASE
CHAIRPERSON

For Immediate News Release February 1, 2017

DLNR INSTALLING UXO AWARENESS SIGNS
IN
MAUNAWILI IMPACT AREA IN FORMER PALI TRAINING CAMP

HONOLULU – Warning signs will be installed starting next week, to alert hikers about the possible presence of unexploded ordnance (UXO) at the start of several popular hiking trails in Maunawili Valley, which were once a part of a former military training camp located on the windward side of O‘ahu.

The informative warning signs are being placed, starting February 7, 2017, at the Pali hairpin turn trailhead, the Maunawili Falls connector trailhead, and the Waimanalo end trailhead, to alert hikers to the possibility of unexploded ordnance in the former impact area and what to do in case any are found.

The signs are being installed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). O‘ahu Division of Forestry and Wildlife Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program.

Hikers should always remain on marked trails. If they encounter trailside objects they think could be UXO items the signage instructs them to follow the 3R’s of UXO safety: Recognize, Retreat, Report. This means:  Recognize – suspicious items and remember their locations; Retreat – without touching or going near them; and Report – Call 911 and report what you saw. UXO items come in many shapes, sizes, and types. Please be aware that even very old or small UXO items can still kill or injure you, so these should always be treated with caution.

The Maunawili Valley impact area of the Pali Training Camp is one of the Formerly Used Defense Sites now included in the Defense Environmental Restoration Program being carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). One of the proposed alternatives to manage this area is to install UXO warning signs.  Surface and subsurface removal of UXO from 10 acres (in addition to 40 acres completed in 2011) as well as safety education and outreach are also included in the remedy.

Currently, the property is largely undeveloped with pockets of residential, agricultural and recreational areas. In 1994, the USACE determined this site to be eligible for federal funding. After an award for $1.6 million, field investigations for an engineering evaluation/cost analysis commenced in April 2003, revealing items such as mortars and projectiles at the site.

Based on the findings of field investigations, a removal action was conducted in 2011 on more than 40 acres, resulting in the discovery and disposal of 26 munitions and explosives of concern items.

A remedial investigation/feasibility study to characterize the nature and extent of any munitions or munitions-related contamination was conducted in 2013-2014 resulting in the discovery and disposal of seven more items.  Remedial alternatives were developed and evaluated in a feasibility study in 2015, which recommended the installation of UXO signage to keep the public informed.

Further actions to address the entire 900-acre area of concern within the former Pali Training Camp will follow in the future. For more information go to: http://www.poh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/FUDS/HeeiaPali.aspx.                                                                                  

Questions about trail safety and the warning signs may be directed to Celeste Yee, at DLNR’s Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program, (808) 587-4175, celeste.m.yee@hawaii.gov. Questions about the USACE environmental restoration program may be directed to Kevin Pien, Project Manager, Honolulu District Environmental Branch, (808) 835-4091.

# # #

Media contacts:

Deborah Ward
Department of Land and Natural Resources
Communications Specialist
(808) 587-0320

Dino Buchanan
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District
Public Affairs Office
Fort Shafter, Hawaii 96858
(808) 835-4004