Categorized | Environment, Health

DU request for hearing extended to Oct. 27


Depleted uranium report unavailable

By Cory (Martha) Harden
Moku Loa Group of the Sierra Club

After nine months of requests, Sierra Club does not have a report on depleted uranium (DU) from the Army, but does have two extra weeks to try obtaining it from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC.)

DU spotting rounds, left from Army training in the 1960s, were discovered in Hawaii in 2005. DU is radioactive and chemically toxic. It is not hazardous outside the body, but if DU compounds are inhaled or ingested, they can impact health.

NRC is in the process of granting the Army an after-the-fact license to possess the DU.

Sierra Club says the report it seeks, the Archives Search Report (ASR), seems to provide a basis for assumptions about when, where and how DU spotting rounds were used at Pohakuloa Training Area and other Army sites in Hawaii.

Sierra Club filed a Freedom of Information Act Request for the ASR with the Army in December 2008, then followed up with Army officials from Hawaii Island, Honolulu, and Washington D.C., to no avail.

When NRC posted documents on its Web site related to the Army license, and set a deadline of Oct. 13 for request for hearing and petition to intervene, the ASR was not posted. Sierra Club asked NRC to obtain and post the ASR and to set a new deadline 60 days after posting.

NRC didn’t agree to post the report, but did extend the deadline for Sierra Club to Oct. 27.

“Army Colonel Killian told Hawaii County Council there might be about 2,000 DU spotting rounds at Pohakuloa alone, and a Sierra Club consultant also estimated 2,000, but some Army documents refer to the ASR to estimate only about 700 spotting rounds statewide,” according to Sierra Club’s Moku Loa group. “We appreciate the extension, but given these conflicting statements, and knowing the report provides a basis for some decisions about DU in Hawaii, we feel the public should have a chance to see it.”

Sierra Club encourages people with comments on DU in Hawaii to contact John Hayes, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Two White Flint North, mail stop T8F5, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852-2738, telephone 301-415-5928, fax 301-415-5369,

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