NEW ARMY VESSEL AT KAWAIHAE?

by  Cory Harden

Please call for scoping hearings–none are planned—for the proposed Army Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) that may come to Kawaihae.

Please also raise concerns abut vessel strikes, fuel spills and live-fire harming marine animals; invasive species being spread; security zones affecting commerce, fishing and recreation; ports not being specified; and cumulative impacts of numerous military projects in Hawai`i.

FROM THE HAWAI`I ENVIRONMENTAL NOTICE: 1) “The JHSV is a high-speed, shallow-draft vessel…[it can carry] a 31-member crew and…up to 350 additional soldiers.  The vessel can reach speeds of 35-45 knots and has an equipment carrying capacity of approximately 700 short tons.”  2) “The JHSV will require fueling-at-sea training; aviation training (helicopter); live-fire training; and   high-speed, open-water-craft training.”  3) “The JHSV includes a weapons mount for crew-served weapons, a flight deck for helicopter operations, and an off-load ramp that allows vehicles to drive off the ship quickly.”  4) “Not all of the proposed ports will receive JHSVs; and other viable locations raised during public scoping may be considered as stationing sites.”

Call your Congress people toll free at 1-877-762-8762:  Senators Akaka and Inouye; Representatives Abercrombie and Hirono.

Contact the Army at: Public Affairs Office, U.S. Army Environmental Command
Attention: IMAE-PA
5179 Hoadley Rd.
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010-5401
Phone: (410) 436-2556      Fax: (410) 436-1693
e-mail: APGR-USAECNEPA@ conus.army.mil

SPEAK UP ON HARBORS EIS

by Cory Harden
Watch for meetings on the Environmental Impact Statement for the six-year, $824-million State Harbor Modernization Plan. Questions to raise:
1. Doesn’t the Hawai`i 2050 Sustainability Plan call for cutting Hawai`’s dependence on imports? With 80% of our consumer goods imported, cargo projected to double by 2020, and the cost of fuel skyrocketing, how about a plan for producing more food and goods locally?
2. What if we build it and they don’t come? Two cruise ships and maybe more are pulling out of Hawai`i. Superferry may go bankrupt. It’s in dry-dock for two weeks with rudder problems. It needs two trips a day to break even, but only one is scheduled. Bookings are only one-third of the number planned. Cancelled trips average one or more a week. And trips may stop completely with the Maui Tomorrow legal challenge.
3. To assess the true impact of the Plan, shouldn’t we”
Do one EIS for all harbors statewide, not separate EISs for each one?
Analyze the broad impacts of all actions enabled by harbor expansion (cruise ships, Superferry, military activities, cargo, recreation), not just the narrow impacts of harbor construction?
4. How much control does the public have over the Aloha Tower Development Corporation, a private-
public entity assisting with the Plan?

PROPOSED KEALAKEHE DEEP WATER CRUISE SHIP HARBOR

By Janice Palma-Glennie

Lots of suggestions are floating around abut the future of 350 acres of state land next to Honokohau Harbor at Kealakehe in West Hawai`i. One of the most questionable (sounding straight out of the environmental Dark Ages) is a plan to dynamite millions of cubic feet of coastline to create an onshore, deep water cruise ship harbor big enough to accommodate the tie-up and turn-around of three modern cruise ships holding up to three thousand passengers each.

Threats to fishing, diving, surfing, local manta ray aggregates and air quality are just some of the potentially devastating short- and long-term spin-offs of this immense project. Are residents willing to mutate the shape and quality of the land and seas for an industry that’s largely unregulated and environmentally mischievous, and not forced to comply with local water quality rules?

DLNR chief, Peter Young, has heard the comments of West Hawai`i residents who attended a recent public meeting held in August to discuss Kealakehe development plans. Even though the official comment deadline was August 8, Sierra Club members who haven’t already done so might want to give their mana`o on this fusty scheme before a decision is made. E-mail Keith Cung at dlnr@hawaii.gov, or fax him at (808) 587-0455.