Categorized | Environment, Government, News

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard fights for funding to remove unexploded ordnance from formerly used defense sites


On July 23, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) proposed an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill to provide increased funding of $25.1 million to speed up the removal of unexploded ordnance from Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) across the country.

Hawai‘i alone has more than 100 FUDS due to the pre-World War I defensive buildup and, later, the rush to mobilize in World War II. Currently, the House budget provides $262 million, which is $25 million more than was requested by the President. The congresswoman’s amendment to increase funding beyond this additional $25 million was rejected in the House by a vote of 242-176.

“As in Hawai‘i, formerly used defense sites across the country – in every state and Congressional district – can serve as housing developments, schools, parks, and playgrounds,” Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who spoke in support of her amendment on the House floor, said. “These sites, also referred to as FUDS, can be littered with dangerous unexploded bombs and shells, in addition to harmful chemicals.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard also pointed to her experiences visiting FUDS locations in Hawai‘i, including the Waikoloa Maneuver Area on the Big Island of Hawai‘i.

“One of the places that I visited and met with many elementary and middle school students was Waimea Middle School, where unexploded ordnance has been found within the last few years by these students themselves.

“You are talking about nine, ten, eleven, and twelve-year-old students who have to be trained in this day and age to identify what an unexploded ordnance looks like and how to report it. This is not something we should be facing in our society today. I will continue to work with my colleagues to identify ways to provide resources for this crucial effort.”

Congress established the Defense Environmental Restoration Program-Formerly Used Defense Site Program (DERP-FUDS) in 1986 to remove hazardous material from former DoD properties and allow for safe reuse.  More than two decades later, 2,600 properties nationwide require cleanup at an estimated cost of more than $18 billion.


2 Responses to “Rep. Tulsi Gabbard fights for funding to remove unexploded ordnance from formerly used defense sites”

  1. hsc212 says:

    I guess Congressmembers who voted against this measure think it’s more important to give lucrative tax breaks to wealthy corporations than they do to let school children be protected from unexploded weapons. Think about all the lavish, IRS and government travel conferences and $12 breakfast muffins – how many millions are wasted and yet they don’t support a proposal like this one.

  2. Judith Walker says:

    WOW someone built a school on an unused bombing range?
    Gee how smart was that!


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