Engineers to present plan for ex-bombing range on Molokai

Public comment will be accepted during meeting scheduled for Kaunakakai

The Maui News

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will present its proposed plan for the Makanalua Bombing Range during a public meeting set for 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center in Kaunakakai.

According to a public meeting notice, the corps is proposing no action as its preferred alternative “because there is no unacceptable risk to human health or the environment” at the bombing range’s “remaining lands,” which are 704 of 937 acres that include land and tidal water areas.

The former bombing range is located on the north-central coast of Molokai’s Kalaupapa peninsula. From 1942 to 1945, the military used the area for aerial bombing, rockets and gunnery practice. The range also is known as the Kalaupapa Bombing Target and Kalaupapa Naval Bombing Range.

The site is southeast of the Kalaupapa Airport and east of the Molokai Lighthouse within the Kalaupapa National Historical Park, but it’s away from the settlement where most residents live.

According to an April 2014 feasibility study prepared for the corps, there was no evidence of “unacceptable hazards” in the “remaining lands” area.

Public comments will be accepted during the Molokai meeting. People attending the event also will hear about the establishment of a Restoration Advisory Board to involve the community in the environmental restoration of the site.

Written comments on the proposed plan may be submitted to: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District, Programs and Project Management Division, Environmental Branch, Building 230, Attention: Lori Wong, Fort Shafter 96858-5440. Wong can be reached by phone at (808) 835-4090 or via email at Lori.L.Wong@usace.army.mil.

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