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Public comment, meeting on EPA proposed modifications to hazardous waste permit for the Air Force on Johnston Atoll

Release Date: 3/8/2004
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

Public meeting in Honolulu April 13

SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on proposed permit modifications addressing the U.S. Air Force's hazardous waste cleanup on Johnston Atoll.

The proposed modifications include revised cleanup goals for soil and water; revised cleanup remedies for several areas; and "no further action" determinations for several other areas. For a copy of the full proposal, call the EPA's Pacific Islands Contact Office in Honolulu at (808)-541-2710.

"These proposed modifications will allow the Air Force to clean up contamination on the island and close the base safely for people and wildlife living on and around Johnston Atoll," said Arlene Kabei, associate director for the EPA's hazardous waste management program in the Pacific Southwest.

The modifications will allow the Air Force to remediate and monitor its existing hazardous waste on Johnston Island. No additional hazardous waste will be brought to the atoll for treatment or storage. In April 2002, the EPA renewed the Air Force's permit for 10 years to allow time for remediation and continued monitoring of certain areas.

The Air Force is currently finishing its thermal treatment of dioxin-contaminated soils and plans to complete all remedies and removal activities this year.

This permit modification is not connected to closure activities being conducted at the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System, or "JACADS,"facility.

People can submit comments on the proposed permit modifications until May 7 to the EPA's San Francisco office. In addition, the agency will hold a public meeting on the proposed permit modifications at Washington Middle School, 1633 South King Street in Honolulu on April 13 beginning at 6:30 p.m..