Monday, November 30, 2009

Unexploded WWII munitions lurking threats

Unexploded WWII munitions lurking threats

Monday, 30 November 2009 04:22
by Jennifer Naylor Gesick | Variety News Staff

IT IS a concern that island residents have had to contend with for more than six decades: unexploded bombs, grenades and other potentially dangerous munitions left behind by Japanese and American armed forces from as long ago as World War II.

Exposure to unexploded ordinances, discarded military munitions and materials, according to the recently released draft environmental impact report produced by the military, represents an explosive hazard that could result in the death or injury to workers or the public during construction and dredging activities for a new wharf at Polaris Point.

To reduce risk potentials, the Navy plans on conducting a review of historical records and other information. "If there is reason to believe that munitions and explosives of concern may be found in the area, qualified [unexploded ordinance] personnel would perform surveys to identify and remove potential [ munitions and explosives of concern] items prior to the initiation of ground disturbing or dredging activities," states the draft study. Additional safety precautions would include unexploded ordinance personnel supervising earth moving and dredging activities.

These personnel would also provide awareness training to construction personnel involved in excavations and dredging about munitions and explosives of concern prior to and during construction activities. "The identification and removal of [munitions and explosives of concern] prior to initiating construction activities and training construction personnel as to the hazards associated with unexploded military munitions would ensure that potential impacts would be minimized and would be less than significant," states the impact study.

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