One branch’s trash dump is now another’s treasure.
Marines, Air Force personnel, and Congresswoman Mazie K.
Hirono were present at the blessing ceremony to mark the
completed clean-up of a former landfill at Marine Corps Training
Area Bellows, on Feb. 21.
According to Marine Corps documents, the landfill, known
as LF24, was part of property originally assigned to the
U.S. Air Force but transferred to the Marine Corps in 1999.
As part of the transfer, the Air Force was required to conduct
an environmental investigation that determined the site was
not safe. The Marine Corps requested funding to eliminate
the landfill in order to make the training area usable as
well as prevent any buried waste at the site from unintentionally
making its way into the ocean. However, the area was determined
not suitable for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,
and Liability Act (CERCLA) funding.
Waimanalo residents lobbied the military to clean up the
area, and the requested funds were eventually made available
in August 2007, when Hirono helped secure $2 million in Marine
Corps funds to clean up the World War II era landfill. The
Marines acquired the money in December 2007 and immediately
gave the funds to the Air Force, whose familiarity with the
site and expertise were well documented.
The Air Force chose CH2M Hill as the contractor for the clean-up.
Part of the contract stressed sub-contracting to local small
businesses. In all, of the 13 sub-contractors used for the
project, 11 were based in Waimanalo or the Hawaiian Islands,
ensuring local support and recognition for the efforts.
The Air Force’s Environmental Restoration department
at Hickam Air Force Base fronted the project and supported
Marines from Marine Corps Base Hawai’i as well as personnel
from the Hawai‘i Department of Health and the Waimanalo
community as part of a Key Stakeholders Working Group that
helped supervise the local beautification project.
For more information regarding the LF24 clean-up, contact
the Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i Public Affairs Office
or Ms. Claudia de Leon, 15 CES/CEVR, Community Involvement
Specialist, Hickam AFB, at 449-3195, or Claudia.firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit www.mcbh.usmc.mil.