Kauai News

Bill Would Restore Military Land Back to Hawaiʻi

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U.S. Rep. Kaialiʻi Kahele introduced the Leandra Wai Act, federal legislation to remediate and restore Mākua Military Reservation on O‘ahu and return the land from the military back to the State of Hawaiʻi.

“I remember my dad talking about the fight to end military operations at sacred places and return wahi pana like Kahoʻolawe and Mākua valley back to the people,” Kahele said in a news release this week. “These memories, along with the many individuals who have dedicated their lives to protecting Hawaiʻi’s sacred places, inform my actions today and that is why I am proud to introduce the Leandra Wai Act which will provide the resources necessary to remediate and restore Mākua valley,” said Congressman Kahele.

Named after Leandra Wai, a cultural practitioner and former president of Mālama Mākua, the Leandra Wai Act would:

  • Direct the Department of Defense to provide a cost estimate and cleanup schedule for the land remediation and restoration of MMR, in coordination with the State of Hawai‘i.
  • Direct the Secretary of the Army to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Hawai‘i on establishing a Mākua Valley Conveyance, Remediation, and Environmental Restoration Trust Fund, and to consult with Native Hawaiian Organizations on the timing, planning, methodology, and implementation for the removal of unexploded ordnance and other contaminants at MMR.
  • Authorize land conveyance under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) but exempt it from a provision that requires remedial actions to be completed before transfer to ensure timeliness of title transfer.
  • Following the title transfer, the Department of Defense must abide by CERCLA and remain liable for UXO and other contaminants that it introduced to MMR.


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