Lawmakers Want Survey of Undersea Weapons Dumps

Rep. Neil Abercrombie
Rep. Neil Abercrombie

(KHNL) There are dangers lurking in Hawaii waters - all manmade. Now lawmakers want to know where they are.

After World War Two, the military dumped chemical weapons, tons of hydrogen cyanide,chemical munitions and thousands of mustard bombs. The army does not know where all the containers are, but says that if those containers fail, most of the chemicals would simply break down into non-toxic compounds.

But Hawaii lawmakers have introduced a bill that would call for a complete underwater survey of dumping sites, and for research into their long-term threats to public and environmental health.

"We're in virgin territory here. We're not certain of what the degradation timeframe is with regard to these shells and munitions" said Rep. Neil Abercrombie.

Abercrombie said the legislators hope to include the provisions in the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act.