County of Hawai’i Mayor Billy Kenoi announced today that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $70 million contract to the Hawai’i-based Environet Inc. to remove unexploded artillery shells and other ordnance from the 100,000-acre former Waikoloa Maneuver Area on the Island of Hawai’i.
The contract will span more than five years, and will involve cleanup of Department of Hawaiian Homelands and Parker Ranch lands in West Hawai’i.
“I am extremely pleased to see this important work move ahead under this contract,” said Mayor Kenoi. “It’s represents a significant investment that will make our island safer for residents and visitors, and will provide good jobs for County of Hawai’i residents who will be employed on the project.”
“I want to thank the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Sen. Daniel K. Inouye for their efforts to bring this project to our island,” Mayor Kenoi said.
Environet Inc. is committed to the hiring of Big Island residents, Mayor Kenoi said. In July 2009, 25 Big Island students graduated from an Unexploded Ordnance Tech I course at the Hawaii Community College in Hilo. These students will be interviewed by Environet as candidates for the cleanup work on the former Waikoloa Maneuver Area.
Senator Inouye said, “I wish to commend the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for working very hard to maximize opportunities for both Hawaii companies and also Big Island residents. Cleaning up UXO is important, and the right thing to do. Having Big Island residents employed on the job ensures that it is done with cultural and local sensitivity. It is a big win-win. I look forward to more announcements of additional cleanup efforts on the Big Island.”
The total cleanup of the former Waikoloa Maneuver Area to remove what the military calls Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) is expected to cost more than $600 million. Over the past seven years a total of $82 million has been spent on the cleanup effort, and more than 2,100 munitions or explosives items and 260 tons of military debris were successfully removed.
The announcement of the latest $70 million contract means that work can now continue under a new Small Business, Indefinite Delivery Quantity (IDIQ) contract administered by the Army Corps of Engineers.
The Department of Defense is committed to protecting and improving public health and safety by cleaning up environmental contamination in local communities that served as former military properties, according to the Army Corps. The Corps and its partners are dedicated to reducing risks from Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) to the people and communities of Hawai’i.
The Waikoloa Maneuver project involves more than 100,000 acres on the western side of the Island of Hawai’i, and includes all or parts of the communities of Waikoloa and Waimea.
The U.S. Navy acquired the site area in 1943 for use as a military training camp and artillery range. Portions of the area were used for U.S. Marine Corps maneuvers and intensive live-fire training with hand grenades, 4.2 inch mortar, and 37 mm, 75mm, 105mm, and 155mm high explosive shells.
For more information, call Hunter Bishop, 961-8565.