The following is from Jim Albertini of Malu Aina
RE: Update on DU in Hawaii / Big Islanders challenge Army request to ignore DU
Jan. 13: Hearing Next Week on Challenge to Army License For Depleted Uranium
Jan. l3, 20l0, 8AM till 2 PM, via video conference between Hilo and NRC offices in Rockville, Maryland
public and press viewing via web stream: http://www.visualwebcaster.com/event.asp?id=65044.
(Sweeping off radioactive contamination!)-brookings.edu/FP/PROJECTS/NUCWCOST/broom.jpg
Hearing next week on challenge to Army license for depleted uranium
January 6th, 2010 ·
The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, an agency of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, will hold a hearing next week on challenges filed by four Hawaii residents to an Army license to possess depleted uranium at Schofield Barracks on Oahu and the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island.
Those challenging the Army’s depleted uranium license are Big Island residents Jim Albertini, Cory Harden, and Isaac Harp, along with Luwella Leonardi of Waianae.
The Army wants to leave depleted uranium deposited during past training exercises in place both in these two Hawaii sites as well as training areas across the country.
Critics say depleted uranium can cause public health problems, especially when it has burned and created fine radioactive dust particles.
Depleted uranium is very heavy and has been used in various U.S. weapons, including some bullets and bombs, and some heavy armor.
According to a Veterans Administration web site :
DU is a health hazard if it enters the body, such as through embedded fragments, contaminated wounds, and inhalation or ingestion. Simply riding in a vehicle with DU weapons or DU shielding will not expose a service member to significant amounts of DU or external radiation.
The potential for health effects from internal exposure is related to the amount of DU that enters a person’s body.
The hearing before three administrative judges on Wednesday, January 13 will be in the board’s hearing room in Rockville, Maryland. Army representatives will appear before the board in person, while the challengers will participate by videoconference from the University of Hawaii’s Hilo campus.
The hearing will be also be streamed live via the Internet and available for later viewing on the NRC’s web site, although I don’t yet have the URLs.
The Army contends that none of the four challengers has the necessary standing to challenge its handling of depleted uranium because they do not live near the sites and have not proven any actual harm or damage they would personally suffer if the license is granted. In addition, the Army says the arguments raised against the licensing are not specific enough or sufficiently documented to prove that there is a “material issue of law or fact”.
The hearing panel has spelled out specific questions it wants each of the challengers to address in its order setting the hearing .
Isaac Harp of Waimea, who cited “cancer-clusters” near areas where live weapons training has been conducted, has been asked to clarify how he would personally be harmed, and to substantiate a claim that the Army may have used depleted uranium in more than the two areas in Hawaii.
Luwella Leonardi, a Waianae resident, fears contaminated dust from training in Makua Valley threatens her community. She has been asked to “specify the factual foundation for this concern”, including evidence that the dust is radioactive and has a direct impact on health.
Jim Albertini of Malu Aina Farm , who argued the Army has failed to address the hazards of inhaling depleted uranium, has been asked to provide specific information that disputes the Army’s position.
Cory Harden , affiliated with the Sierra Club’s Moku Loa Group, wants to see independent air monitoring by the federal government. The Army says Harden’s petition failed to meet an administrative deadline and should be disregarded.
Harden also submitted additional information , including background and newspaper stories, available in a large pdf file.
Malu 'Aina Center for Non-violent Education and Action