Aloha and Welcome to the HUMMA Project Website
The University of Hawai‘i at Manoa has been awarded approximately $3 million to conduct new field investigations for the Hawai‘i Undersea Military Munitions Assessment (HUMMA). These efforts will support the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in assessing the potential risk to human health and the environment of an historic munitions disposal site located south of Pearl Harbor.
The site for this study, which DoD designated as Sea Disposal Site Hawai‘i-05 (HI-05), is located approximately ten kilometers south of Pearl Harbor, Hawai‘i. HI-05 contains both conventional and chemical discarded military munitions. Historical research shows that chemical munitions, including 16,000 M47A2 100-pound mustard-filled bombs, may have been sea disposed in this area following World War II. Previous HUMMA investigations in 2007, 2009 and 2011 adopted a unique approach using innovative technologies to map and sample very small targets on the seafloor to perform the required assessment. The 2009 program demonstrated the ability of human-occupied vehicles (specifically, the PISCES submersibles operated by the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory) to sample sediments and water 1-2 meters from targets of interest. However, munitions potentially including chemical agent were not located during the 2009 program. Since 2009, munitions with markings and shapes consistent with M47A2 mustard-filled bombs have been located. These will be investigated during the current effort so that the DoD can make informed decisions regarding the location, impacts, risks, and alternative actions that might be taken regarding these disposal locations.
In addition to assessing potential chemical munitions, the current project, named HUMMA-III, seeks to evaluate performance differences between human-occupied submersibles and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in visually mapping and sampling sea disposed munitions. HUMMA-III will also test new sensors and instruments for their ability to assess sea disposed munitions for future efforts in other locations throughout U.S. coastal waters. "The Army considers this research effort extremely important to both helping close data gaps in DoD's understanding of the effects of chemical munitions on the ocean environment and helping validate and improve upon procedures developed for investigating sea disposal sites, particularly those in deep water," said Mr. Hershell Wolfe, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health.
Funding for HUMMA has been made possible through the efforts of Hawai‘i's Congressional delegation and by the DoD (Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment Safety and Occupational Health (ODASA-ESOH)) through its National Defense Center for Energy and the Environment as well as the U.S. Army's Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate.
This website will provide the public with accurate and timely information about the program and its results.