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Radford field work stopped after contaminants found

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:59 p.m. HST, Apr 02, 2014

Renovation work on a new track field at Radford High School has been halted after debris and soil samples tested positive for contaminants including lead and arsenic, the state Department of Education announced Wednesday.

The school's athletic field is near the Navy's former Makalapa Crater landfill. A preliminary assessment by the U.S. Navy said the debris likely originated from past Navy disposal of construction waste and material dredged between the 1930s and 1970s.

The DOE is working with the state Department of Health and the Navy to safeguard, study and remove debris that includes ash, asbestos and discarded mechanical items found during initial excavation work.

"Our screening tests indicate that serious soil contamination at Radford High is limited to the excavated areas at the field and track," Gary Gill, the Health Department's deputy director for environmental health, said in a statement. "The athletic field was constructed on top of an old Navy dump site that must now be carefully assessed and cleaned up. We found clean soil throughout the rest of the campus. The school remains healthy and safe for staff and students." 

Soil samples showed elevated levels of contaminants such as lead, arsenic and cadmium. The Health Department said a health risk would occur if someone were to ingest the tainted dirt.

"This historic Navy debris that was discovered will be removed quickly and we will ensure that DOE can safely proceed with construction of the new track," Commanding Officer Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii Capt. Michael Williamson said in a statement.

Work was being done on a $2.3 million project to build an all-weather track at the school, located along Salt Lake Boulevard.

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kailua000 wrote:
shocking no Radford kids have come up with any sickness. or will it show in the long term .should check on alumni.
on April 2,2014 | 12:39PM
Wage Earner wrote:
How many alums ate buried dirt in high school at Radford?
on April 2,2014 | 02:27PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Radford kids aren't dumb. they do not eat dirt.
on April 2,2014 | 07:06PM
ryan02 wrote:
I don't think most people realize just HOW contaminated Pearl Harbor really is. It's at the top of the CERCLA Superfund list, right up there with Kerr-McGee (from the "Silkwood" movie) and is actually higher than Rocky Flats (former nuclear weapons production site, contaminated with Plutonium and uranium). I wouldn't live near there myself. I guess people will argue that the contamination can't spread from the harbor itself, but how did the contamination get in there in the first place? Much came from land sources, it didn't all originate in the water, it just ended up there. Yikes.
on April 2,2014 | 12:54PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Back then pearl harbor was a backwater American dump. Do you think that those leaders gave a rats apps as to where they dumped on the islands? Makua valley,Waikane valley, Lualualei, Makalapa wells, just think of all the sheet on long time bases like KMCAS ,Fort Shafter,Shafter flats Schofield. Nothing against the soldiers who fought, but most people wipe their arts after they dump.
on April 2,2014 | 01:19PM
Ronin006 wrote:
NanakuliBoss, it always is the military, isn’t it? Please tell me and other readers exactly where locals have been disposing their motor oil, batteries, rubber tires and other toxic materials between the 1930s and 1970s. Oh, wait. I saw it on TV last year. It is a drainage ditch in Nanakuli, but I suppose that is OK as long as the military is not doing it..
on April 2,2014 | 07:14PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Don't forget about the pristine sludge from Koko Marina. But not to worry, it's sludge don't stink.
on April 2,2014 | 07:20PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
The military is the U.S.government which I hear people mock everyday. No it's not about the military, it's about the way they conduct the disposal of toxins on the Americans. And Ronin, which ditch in Nanakuli? Oh maybe the Waimanalo ditch? Yeah that's where you NIMBYs want your trash to go. Hypocrite.
on April 2,2014 | 08:13PM
lowtone123 wrote:
That's nothing compared to what was dumped off Waianae during/after the war.
on April 2,2014 | 02:42PM
Papakolea wrote:
The lead is a problem. It would be helpful if the arsenic level was mentioned in the article. Almost all soil in Hawaii has arsenic levels that exceed EPA regulations. Arsenic is naturally occurring in volcanic soil so there's nothing we can do about it. The level under the Radford track may exceed EPA standards but it might be no higher than the level at Kapiolani Park.
on April 2,2014 | 09:40PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Navy spokesman said" You mean this historic Navy debris"? Lol.
on April 2,2014 | 11:31PM
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