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Hawaii petitioner appeals Atomic Safety and Licensing Board decision

MEDIA RELEASE

Hawaii petitioner Isaac “Paka” Harp is appealing the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) ruling of Feb. 24, 2010 that stated he lacks standing to challenge the Army’s application for a license to possession Depleted Uranium (DU) in Hawaii.

Harp, a Native Hawaiian, stated during oral arguments held in January, “The time has come for the United States to clean up their messes, repair their damages, and de-occupy our country,” and added, “It is the Army that has no standing here.”

Harp said, “The Army used Hawaii for secret biological and chemical warfare experiments, dumped thousands of tons of chemical, biological, and conventional munitions over our aina and in our ocean. They brought DU contamination to Hawaii and now they want to leave their mess in place. These acts are nothing short of environmental terrorism and show a clear lack of concern for the health and safety of the people of Hawaii. And people wonder why we want the United States out of here?”

In his appeal, Harp points out that in 1979 DU was found in air filters at a site 26 miles away from a factory producing DU airplane counterweights and DU penetrators. He contends that this proves DU can travel for many miles to threaten the health and safety of humans and the natural environment.

He also referred to an article related to DU illness published in Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter No. 169. In the article, Arthur N. Bernklau, Executive Director of Veterans for Constitutional Law in New York, stated “This malady (from uranium munitions), that thousands of our military have suffered and died from, has finally been identified as the cause of this sickness, eliminating the guessing. Out of the 580,400 soldiers who served in the first Gulf War, of them, 11,000 are now dead! By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on Permanent Medical Disability.”

Harp points out that “Seven (7) of the nine (9) sites that the Army wants to place under the DU license rank either 1st or 2nd in highest cancer rates in those states and that DU is the one commonality amongst these seven sites.

“It is extremely unlikely that these statistics are coincidental,” Harp said.

He also noted studies conclude DU can leach into groundwater supplies, and the NRC’s own Web site contained information on decommissioning of the Jefferson Proving Grounds complex in Rock Island, Indiana and that documents express concern of DU leaching into groundwater supplies there.

The Army’s oral arguments were based on limited and incomplete records, Harp said, and, where records were not available the Army applied assumptions.

Harp said he fears if news regarding DU contamination in Hawaii becomes widely known it could have grave impacts on Hawaii’s main economic engine, the multi-billion dollar tourism industry.

Harp will post his appeal online with other information he and other Hawaii petitioners Cory Harden and Jim Albertini have accumulated over the last few months. The information will be available at: newpacificvoice.com/du

For more information call 345-6085, or e-mail: imua-hawaii@hawaii.rr.com

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