Appeal to join the Monday 6PM, May 23rd Peace meeting focusing on the Pohakuloa EIS

Please also join the 6-8PM meeting on Monday, May 23rd at the Keaau Community center for a discussion and testimony preparation on the Pohakuloa Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and against any State lease renewal to the military at PTA.  If you can’t make the meeting but want to simply send in testimony against any military lease renewal at Pohakuloa, see more info here on where to send testimony.

Mahalo and please pass the word to ohana and friends.

Jim Albertini

Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760
Phone 808-966-7622 Email Visit us on the web at

some points from Cory Harden

Ethnographic Studies

A 2012 ethnographic study was commissioned, completed and accepted by the Army for PTA: “Ethnographic Study of Pohakuloa Training Area and Central Hāmākua District, Island of Hawai‘i, State of Hawai‘i” (McCoy & Orr, 2012). This is the only ethnographic or TCP study commissioned by the Army for study and/or assessment of TCPs within PTA. The study found “a general lack of information in the literature concerning cultural practices and beliefs related to the Saddle Region, when compared to other, more populated areas of Hawaii.” The study did not use any Hawaiian language resources… Since the McCoy and Orr study, no further studies for TCPs have been conducted at PTA by USAG-HI CRM staff or contractors.

 See the 397 page Draft EIS at the link below

Chilling Army definition of “encroachment”  EIS p. 3-14.

PTA works consistently to manage encroachment issues, defined by the Army as the “cumulative result of any and all outside influences that inhibit normal military training and testing” (Santicola, 2006).

Additionally, the Implementation Guidance for Army Compatible Use Buffers broadens this encroachment definition to “All influences threatening or constraining testing and training activities required for force  readiness and weapons acquisition. Encroachment stems from environmental (for example, noise, endangered species, cultural resources, unexploded ordnance [UXO], and munitions constituents [MC]), social (for example, urban sprawl), and economic (for example, changing land values) influences. Impacts include, but are not limited to, restrictions on available testing and training locations; restrictions on available times and duration for testing and training; reduced effectiveness of testing and training activities; and restrictions on weapons systems, equipment, and munitions used during testing and training. Land use and/or development that, individually or through cumulative effect, contributes to restricting the Army’s ability to conduct mission activities.”

The Army wants to keep control over about 23,000 acres of land at Pōhakuloa which it is now leasing from the State till 2029. But there are serious concerns about unexploded ordnance and other hazards they have left on the land, impacts of military training on cultural practices, and much more.

You can send comments till June 7 to ATLR-PTA-EIS@G70.DESIGN or use their website

Talking points below. 

The EIS should explain how the Army can legally own or use the land although the United States controls Hawai’i illegally.

Claims that land retention is necessary are not credible, since the military also claimed Kahoʻolawe, the Kapūkakī (Red Hill) fuel tanks, and Stykers were necessary.

The EIS should describe how the State can meet fiduciary obligations to native Hawaiians and the public to protect the land, if it is retained, since the Army is a bad actor that has left the land in degraded and hazardous condition, at Pōhakuloa and other sites.  

The EIS should include a plan and commitment to cleaning up debris and toxins before the lease expires.

The EIS should explain how military use is allowable in a conservation district.

The EIS should explain why the Army sited critical infrastructure on land with a temporary lease.

 Impacts to native species should be described, as well as impacts from invasive species and the success of past control methods.

Cultural resource data is insufficient to support EIS conclusions: archaeological surveys have only been done on about half of the State land, no valid survey has been done since 2013, and the sole ethnographic study failed to use Hawaiian language resources. The Cultural Resources Management Program has been hampered by lack of training, technical issues, inadequate facilties, and project delays. There are few specifics on how the Army will remedy the lack of access, which is still a problem after five decades on the lease, and impacts many cultural practices.

For environmental, archaeological, and cultural studies the Army often claims it is too dangerous to go into the impact area. But personnel went in to check for depleted uranium, and even did construction in the impact area for a new training range

Studies and monitoring cited by the EIS for depleted uranium are inadequate.

A full analysis of greenhouse gas emissions is needed, but is not even attempted.

There is inadequate analysis of noise that can be heard miles away, and of concussions that can affect travelers on Saddle Road.

Socioeconomic analysis should include the cost of cleanup of the impact area and the rest of the base after base closure, and the cost of lost opportunities for other uses of the land, such as: a park that preserves cultural resources, educates the public about history and culture, and allows outdoor activities; agricultural uses that provide food and building materials locally; raising of livestock., etc.

Impacts to traffic and road wear are inadequately addressed for convoys every 2 to 4 weeks, plus trucks for water, fuel, and other supplies.

Analysis of fire impacts fails to mention serious concerns about staffing and equipment, and the history of several past fires.

Long-term impacts beyond the baseʻs borders are only considered for training, but should also be considered for the environment.  Cumulative impact analysis should include a list of all current and former military sites on Hawai’i Island, with their cleanup status. It should also evaluate the impacts of future pumping for the training area from groundwater that has minimal recharge.

What are the total # of live rounds fired annually at PTA?  And please list all the different live rounds fired, an non-live rounds fired too.  During the Stryker EIS of 2003 14.8 million live rounds annually was noted.