THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

47

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

Urging the department of veterans affairs to recognize a presumptive service connection for chronically ill veterans who were stationed at kunia field on the island of oahu.

 

 


     WHEREAS, Kunia Field Station was constructed on the island of Oahu during World War II to serve as an underground bomb-proof aircraft assembly plant; and

 

     WHEREAS, since its construction, the field station has served as a command center for the United States Navy, an operations center for Kunia Regional Security, and currently serves as an operations center for the National Security Agency; and

 

     WHEREAS, Kunia Field Station is located under former pineapple fields near Wheeler Army Airfield and Schofield Barracks and was exposed to pesticides, herbicides, fumigants, smoke, and other toxins and carcinogens while pineapple agriculture was active, from approximately 1940 to 2008; and

 

     WHEREAS, a chemical spill in 1977 and a flood in 1991 further exposed the area and its drinking water to toxic substances, including the soil fumigant ethylene dibromide (EDB), identified as a probable human carcinogen; and

 

     WHEREAS, a report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 found multiple contaminants in ground water and soil at the Kunia Field Station site, including EDB; and

 

     WHEREAS, A report by the Navy and the National Security Agency in 2000 indicated the presence of arsenic and lead in the field station's air intake system, in addition to moderate to high levels of fungal contamination due to air ventilation problems and high moisture levels; and

 

     WHEREAS, many veterans who were stationed at Kunia Field Station have developed cancer, neurological conditions, dementia, and other chronic illnesses; and

 

     WHEREAS, the official position of the Department of Veterans Affairs is that veterans stationed at Kunia Field Station were not exposed to toxic substances, making it difficult for these veterans to receive medical care and long-term services; and

 

     WHEREAS, Kunia Field Station veterans and their advocates argue that they have been denied access to the government records needed to conclusively link their illnesses to toxic exposure; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Department of Veterans Affairs is urged to recognize a presumptive service connection for chronically ill veterans who were stationed at Kunia Field and to provide medical care and long-term services regardless of the veterans' ability to conclusively link their conditions to toxic exposure; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of the Army, Secretary of the Air Force, Kunia Veterans Advocacy, and Congressional Delegation of the State of Hawaii.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title: 

Department of Veterans Affairs; Kunia Field Station