Landfill Causes Concern for Beachgoers

Suzanne Frazer
Suzanne Frazer

BELLOWS AIRFORCE STATION- (KHNL) They spend their weekends cleaning east Oahu's beaches. They used to clean the area in front of the landfill, but not anymore.

Dean and Suzanne walked this stretch of sand countless times, but they never had any idea what was buried beyond that gate.

"We're very concerned about the exposure because we're coming every weekend, said Suzanne Frazer, a community volunteer."

The Air Force says they have no reason to be concerned.

"Although there are very low levels of chemicals in the landfill, they aren't at a level that poses any environmental risk, said Todd Lanning, a Bellows Air Force Station Representative."

The Air Force confirms the hazard level for zinc at this public beach is three times greater than acceptable. But, they say that's ok.

"Yes, that is for a very localized spot. The way the risk assessments are done it assumes someone

will be exposed for a long period of time," said Lanning.

Suzanne Frazer and Dean Otsuki aren't convinced.

" I think just to know that there are higher levels than there should be, of certain toxic substances, including lead, that's just not good for beach go-ers in general," said Frazer.

Then why spend two and a half million dollars? The Air Force says its simply to remove the debris.

"This biggest worry for us is what's underneath because its very close to the ocean and you can see the erosion," said Frazer, a community volunteer.

"It will be a positive thing for the military to take responsibility for their mess," says Otsuki.

If the funding to clean up the landfill isn't approved, then what? That remains to be seen.