HONOLULU CITY COUNCIL OPPOSES NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE

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By Mele Laumanu Petelo

HONOLULU,Hawaii (August 7,1997 - PIDP/CPIS)---The Honolulu City Council has unanimously passed a resolution opposing the storage of nuclear waste in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Introduced last month by council member Andy Mirikitani, the resolution earlier was approved by the council's policy committee.

At a hearing in Kapolei, Oahu's "Second City," Wednesday, the nine council members heard testimony supporting the resolution from American Friends Service Committee Program Coordinator Kilali Ala’ilima and Richard Salvador from Palau, a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

In her comments, Ala'ilima said "nuclear waste is dangerous forever and there is no known means to permanently contain or to neutralize it." She stressed that it does not belong in the Pacific.

Richard Salvador, in appealing for the council members' support, reminded them of the American atomic testing in the Marshalls after World War II. He said the waste that remains stored there already prohibits the use of several Marshalls' atoll areas.

Both Ala'ilima and Salvador said they were pleased with the council’s decision to help keep the dangerous, toxic waste from polluting and endangering the Pacific's environment and life.

Alai'ilima said her hope is that the Honolulu City Council's action will be a precedent for other regional government bodies to follow.

As part of its resolution, the council will request Marshall Islands President Imata Kabua and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phillip Muller to take whatever actions are necessary to prohibit the storage of nuclear waste on the low-lying Marshall Islands.

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