The Navy’s contractors, Tikigaq-Agviq LLC and APTIM, will conduct controlled, intentional detonations, Thursday, July 26, at Waipio Peninsula. The purpose of these detonations is to treat military munitions recovered from dredged material.
“Munitions recovered during previous dredging activities in Pearl Harbor and stored in a safe, secured location at the Navy’s Confined Disposal Facility on Waipio Peninsula, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will be detonated in accordance with the respective Work Plan, Health and Safety Plan, Explosives Safety Submission, and applicable Standard Operating Procedures,” said Navy Region Hawaii Environmental Program Director Aaron Poentis. “Our Emergency Hazardous Waste Permit from the State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) issued on July 12, 2018, allows for the treatment of munitions by detonations at a specific site on Waipio Peninsula for 90 calendar days.”
The first detonation event will occur on July 26, from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m., at the secured, designated site on Waipio Peninsula. Indication of detonation events may be a series of “popping” sounds that could be carried by the wind and heard by the public. At no time will the public be at risk. Two additional detonation events have been scheduled for Aug. 30 and Sept. 28.
Dredged material is collected and screened for munitions. Recovered munitions are then stored in secured portable magazines until they are destroyed by scheduled detonation events. Types of munitions include, but are not limited to: 5-inch projectiles and/or cartridges, 3-inch projectiles and/or cartridges, 1.1-inch projectiles and/or cartridges, 75mm projectiles and/or cartridges, 40mm projectiles and/or cartridges, 37mm projectiles and/or cartridges, 20mm projectiles and/or cartridges, fuzes, flares, hand grenades, small arms ammunition and other military munitions.
All required engineering controls such as trench pits and sandbag enclosures will be used during controlled intentional detonations to mitigate fragmentation hazard, over-pressurization, and noise. Exclusion zones and entry control points will be established and maintained for added safety.
Contractor personnel performing this work are trained and will implement engineering controls and safety precautions to ensure safety of personnel and protection of the environment.
Due to past historical events (e.g., Dec. 7, 1941 attack, May 1944 Landing Ship Tank explosion, suspected past disposal practices, etc.), some munitions are suspected to be in waters of Pearl Harbor. During dredging activities, munitions may be removed along with the dredged material. Dredged material is temporarily accumulated within earth-bermed cells on Waipio Peninsula to be dewatered, dried and screened prior to use for other beneficial purposes (e.g., landfill soil cover, etc.) and/or disposed at a State of Hawaii permitted solid waste landfill, PVT Landfill.
“In 2013 and 2015, the Navy successfully performed recovery and treatment of munitions on Waipio Peninsula as authorized by State Emergency Hazardous Waste Permits. This current work will be performed safely and will be unobtrusive to the public,” said Poentis. “This announcement is to keep everyone informed so if unfamiliar noises are heard from these detonations, no one is surprised.”