STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1240
RE: H.B. No. 1452
Honorable Colleen Hanabusa
President of the Senate
Twenty-Fourth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2007
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Intergovernmental and Military Affairs and Health, to which was referred H.B. No. 1452, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to protect the health and safety of Hawaii's residents and visitors by requiring the Department of Health to take soil, water, and air samples at unspecified distances along a perimeter within five hundred meters of all military bases at least once every three months to monitor the levels of depleted uranium contamination.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Americans for Democratic Action; KAHEA, The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance; Democratic Party of Maui; Sierra Club Hawai‘i Chapter; American Friends Service Committee; CODEPINK Women for Peace; President of the 19-3 Democratic Party; President of Maui Peace Action; President of Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action; and thirty four individuals.
Testimony in opposition to this measure was submitted by the State Adjutant General and the Department of Health.
Your Committees find that depleted uranium has special toxic properties when used as weaponry and is considered to be chemically toxic by the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, the Army Environmental Policy Institute, the United Nations, and others and poses potential health risks to Hawaii's residents and visitors.
Your Committees further find that depleted uranium weaponry has been found at Schofield Barracks, making it the first priority among the military bases for testing. As such, your Committees have amended this measure to:
(1) Remove the language in the measure requiring air, soil, and water sampling and testing for depleted uranium at all military bases and narrowing the scope of the soil sampling and testing to Schofield Barracks;
(2) Add language requiring the Department of Health to coordinate with the University of Hawaii in order to arrange for the testing of the soil samples;
(3) Add language requiring the Department of Health to coordinate with the United States Army in Hawaii regarding its continued monitoring and remediation of training areas and weapon ranges at Schofield Barracks; and
(4) Make technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of style, clarity, and consistency.
It is the intent of your Committees is to protect the health and safety of Hawaii's residents and visitors by requiring the Department of Health to collect soil samples and conduct testing of the samples in order to assess the presence of depleted uranium at Schofield Barracks.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Intergovernmental and Military Affairs and Health that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1452, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1452, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Intergovernmental and Military Affairs and Health,
DAVID Y. IGE, Chair
LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair