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Friday, July 23, 2021
Army invites public comment on O‘ahu training land retention
By News Release @ 6:00 PM :: 1128 Views :: Environment, Military

Army invites public comment on O‘ahu training land retention

News Release from US Army Garrison Hawaii, July 23, 2021

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawai‘i (July 23, 2021) — The U.S. Army intends to prepare an environmental impact statement, or EIS, to analyze its proposal to retain up to approximately 6,300 acres of leased state-owned land on O‘ahu to support continued military training.

The state-owned lands include 1,170 acres at Kahuku Training Area (KTA), 4,370 acres at Poamoho Training Area and 760 acres at Makua Military Reservation (MMR) that are used by Army units and others, including the Marine Corps and the Hawai‘i Army National Guard.  The state-owned lands have been leased by the Army since 1964, and the leases will expire in 2029.

Federal, state and local agencies, Native Hawaiian organizations and the public are invited to participate in the scoping process for the EIS by submitting oral and/or written comments. The 40-day public scoping period runs from July 23 through Sept. 1, 2021.

To reduce exposure to COVID-19, while still providing ample opportunities for public participation, the Army will offer both online and in-person options for individuals to submit comments.

The public may view and/or listen to online video presentations, review project documents, and submit comments through the project website at https://home.army.mil/hawaii/index.php/OahuEIS

Written comments will be accepted throughout the 40–day scoping period until Sept. 1, 2021, and can be submitted by U.S. mail, email or online at the website below.

U.S. Mail: O‘ahu ATLR EIS Comments, P.O. Box 3444, Honolulu, HI 96801-3444

E-mail: usarmy.hawaii.nepa@mail.mil

Online: https://home.army.mil/hawaii/index.php/OahuEIS

In-Person: The Army will host two identical in-person public scoping meetings Aug. 10 and 11, from 6 - 9 p.m. at Leilehua Golf Course (199 Leilehua Golf Course Rd, Wahiawa, HI 96786).  Admittance will be on a first-come, first-served basis and room capacity will be limited subject to City and County of Honolulu emergency orders related to COVID-19.

One-way online streaming of the in-person public scoping meetings will be provided for those wishing to remotely view and listen to the presentation and live comments. Options to join the live stream may be found on the website at https://www.youtube.com/usaghawaii/live.

Oral comments may be provided by attending one of the two in-person public scoping meetings (Aug. 10 and 11 from 6 - 9 p.m.) or remotely by calling (808) 556-8277. Recording services are only available Aug. 10 and 11 from 4 - 9 p.m.

Attendees may consider using a contactless method to participate and/or the online streaming option should capacity at the venue be exceeded.

It is important to note that the in-person scoping meetings and the O‘ahu EIS website feature the same information and all comments are viewed equally, regardless of how they are submitted.

Kahuku Training Area:

Located in northeast O‘ahu, KTA has been a military training site since the mid-1950s.  Since 1964, 1,170 acres at KTA have been leased from the state. Current activities at KTA include high-density, company-level helicopter training in a tactical environment, large-scale ground maneuver training, and air support training.

Makua Military Reservation:

Located in northwest O‘ahu, MMR has been a military training site for nearly 100 years. Since 1964, 760 acres at MMR have been leased from the state.  Tactical training began at MMR in 1941, following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Current training activities at MMR include maneuver training, the establishment and use of restricted airspace for unmanned aerial vehicle training, and wildfire suppression and security activities.

Poamoho Training Area:

Located in the Ko‘olau Mountains in north-central O‘ahu, 4,370 acres at Poamoho have been leased from the state since 1964 for military training and provides airspace with ravines and deep vegetation for helicopter training.

The EIS will be prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the Hawai‘i Environmental Policy Act. A notice of intent was published in the Federal Register to announce the Army’s preparation of the EIS and to begin the NEPA scoping period. An EIS preparation notice has also been published in the state Office of Environmental Quality Control’s publication, The Environmental Notice, to begin the HEPA scoping period.

For more information or accessibility requests, please contact U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs, at usarmy.hawaii.comrel@mail.mil or (808) 656-3158.

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