Residents Sue State Environmental Department of Over UXO

Honolulu, Hawaii The state Supreme Court heard arguments in a lawsuit raised by two residents over the Army's live-fire training at the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island. The lawsuit against the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) alleges that the Department failed to protect ceded lands from UXO contamination as a result of the Army's use of the area for military training.

The state Supreme Court case comes as a result of the state filling an appeal from a previous lawsuit where a circuit court judge ruled that that the state should do more to protect lands from destruction by pressuring the Army to address potential UXO at the site. In that case, the residents cited internal memos from 2011 and 2013 where DLNR acknowledged there's a likelihood or possibility of UXO on public trust ceded land yet according the plaintiffs' attorney, DLNR did nothing including never writing a letter "asking the Army can you clean things up."


Canadian Government Pays Out Millions for UXO Claim

British Columbia, Canada Public records released this fall show that for a second time, the Canadian Government paid millions dollars to K & L Land Partnership for "compensation in environmental damages." The latest payment of $4.4 million comes just one year after it reached a legal settlement with the group for $11 million to avoid going to trial over claims it was negligent in failing to warn the developers about UXO on the property. Federal officials are not saying exactly why K & L Land Partnership received this second payout due to a confidentially agreement in place.

Back in 2005, K & L Land Partnership (a group 11 companies) purchased 1,349 acres of undeveloped land overlooking Lake Kalamalka near Vernon, B.C for $15 million dollars.


Hawaiian Natives File UXO-Related Lawsuit Against Army

Honolulu, Hawaii A lawsuit has been filed against the U.S. Army alleging violation of a 2001 court settlement. The settlement granted the native Hawaiian group Malama Makua limited access to sacred sites of Makua Valley, an area used for decades of military training.

Attorneys for the environmental law organization Earthjustice filed the lawsuit in federal court in Honolulu to protest a "blanket ban" in 2014 by the Army calling for a clearance from historic preservations to cut grass on trails leading to the cultural sites, an effort to insure any UXO in the area would be avoided. Then, in September 2015, the Army obtained a grass-cutting agreement but called for an investigation of an accident in which two contractors who were cutting grass for military training in April 2015 were injured by exploding UXO.


Lawsuit Filed Over Lackluster UXO Response

Vernon, British Columbia a First Nations Tribe, has decided to file a lawsuit against the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND), for over two decades of neglecting to remove UXO from reservation lands. DND used the Okanagan Indian Band reserve lands for military training, including the firing of live munitions, between at least 1939 and 1990. The terms of the leases reportedly included stipulations that the department clean up and remove military munitions scrap and UXO once military use of the area ceased.


Residents File Lawsuit Over UXO Issues at Active Range

Big Island, Hawaii A group of local residents are suing the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) over UXO issues associated with the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA). The lawsuit alleges that the DLNR breached its duty to protect lands used for training by not forcing the military to clear UXO and other debris from the land. The group also wants to prevent DLNR from negotiating an extension to its current lease or entering a new lease until the trust conditions are met.

The current lease agreement, signed in 1694, between the State and the U.S. government provides for the use of over 22,800 acres at PTA until 2029 at a lease price of $1. Last year, DLNR began working on a mutual cancellation of the lease with the goal of establishing a new lease between the parties for the use of the land for military training including for live fire munitions training.


Developer Files Suit Siting Non-Disclosure of UXO

Vancouver, British Columbia A Canadian developer is suing the Canadian Government for allegedly not disclosing that a parcel of land it purchased may contain UXO. The Developer reportedly paid $15 million for a 546-hectare parcel of land with beautiful lakeside views in 2005 with plans to develop the property into multiple residential home sites.

By 2011, however, the plans were put on hold after the company discovered the land potentially contained UXO. The site is adjacent to the former Vernon Military Camp that was used from 1939 to 1945 to train Canadian soldiers in weapons deployments. The lawsuit alleges that during those operations some of the explosives used ended up on the land that was eventually sold to the developer years later.


Biologist Sues Army Over Range Study

Salt Lake City, UtahA biologist is suing the Army over health problems she claims were linked to her work at Dugway Proving Grounds back in 1997. The biologist claims she started having neurological issues shortly after completing a vegetation study in an areas that was "tainted by UXO including chemical and biological" ordnance. Government lawyers have requested the court throw out the $5M lawsuit based on statute of limitations. A U.S. District will decide if the case can proceed.

Builder Settles Lawsuit Over Houses Built Near Former Range

Orlando, Florida Home builder, the Ryland Group settled a three-year old class action lawsuit with 118 homeowners in the Newport subdivision over houses that were constructed adjacent to the former Pinecastle Jeep Range. The homeowners' suit claimed that the builder did not reveal the fact that the area was once a former training range and that the potential for munitions existed. The suit claimed that the subsequent discovery of munitions caused property values to plummet.


Scrap Metal Recycler Issued Fine Over Explosive Safety Hazard

Raleigh, North Carolina Raleigh Metal Processors has been reportedly fined over $3,500 by the North Carolina Department of Labor's Division of Occupational Safety and Health resulting from an explosive safety incident that occurred at the plant when live munitions were inadvertently processed. Two workers were injured during the accident which was initially reported on the UXO News Wire Service on 13 February of this year.


UXO Harbor Cleanup Case to Be Heard Australian Supreme Court

Albany, Australia -The Australian Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a long-running dispute over who is financially responsible for the cleanup of WWII era UXO in the Albany harbor. The Albany Port Authority claims that the Defense Department should be liable for the costs. The Defense Department has claimed since the first UXO was discovered in 2001, that they are not responsible for the costs. The trial is set to last four weeks and with legal bills mounting for the past six years, the decision is expected to be contentious at best.

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