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Hawaii: Management and Redevelopment of Pearl Harbor Naval Complex/
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Navy Region Hawaii
Agency: U.S. Navy
Criteria for Council Involvement:
- The Navy's management and redevelopment activities in Hawaii have the potential to adversely affect a large number of historic properties, including the U.S. Naval Base Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark (Criterion 1).
- Proposed development of a Programmatic Agreement will alter the way the Section 106 process is applied to management activities at the Naval Region Hawaii (Criterion 2).
- The development of this Programmatic Agreement presents issues of concern to Native Hawaiian organizations (Criterion 4).
The Navy has scheduled quarterly consultation meetings with the Council, the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the National Park Service (NPS), the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Historic Hawaii Foundation to identify issues regarding its management of all properties within the Navy Region Hawaii with a particular focus on the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex.
Main shipyard building, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
The goal is replacement of the outdated 1979 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for management activities with a more comprehensive Programmatic Agreement (PA).
In connection with the development of the PA, the Navy is preparing an Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan (ICRMP) that will be implemented by the PA upon its acceptance by the consulting parties. Additionally, the Navy has opened parallel discussions regarding the redevelopment of Pearl Harbor’s Ford Island, which is scheduled for significant redevelopment, and has focused the efforts of its ICRMP planning team on that island’s resources in order to assist in this consultation.
The Pearl Harbor Naval Complex is the U.S. Navy’s largest and most strategic base in the Pacific. Encompassing over 12,600 acres of land and water, it serves as the headquarters of five major fleet commands. More than 1,200 of the buildings and structures constructed during the base’s 100-year history are included in the U.S. Naval Base Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark (NHL), which was designated in 1964.
The NHL designation commemorates the 1941 Japanese attack on the base which propelled the United States into World War II, as well as the strategic role the base has played through time in the Pacific. In addition, the base contains important Native Hawaiian archeological sites, including traditional stone-walled fishponds.
The Navy, Hawaii SHPO, and the Council entered into an MOA for the management of the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex in 1979. This MOA established management strategies based on the categorization of buildings within the historic district according to their relative significance. The agreement is now 20 years old and, measured against today’s standards, including 1997 Navy guidance on planning for historic properties, needs updating and improving.
Although the MOA called for periodic reviews, none were initiated, and properties were not re-evaluated to determine if their management by the Navy continued to be appropriate. Moreover, the MOA provided no opportunity for public involvement, included no provisions regarding archeology, and contained treatment standards that are vague. Of particular concern, the MOA virtually excluded the Council from any review role, contrary to the direction in Section 110(f) of the National Historic Preservation Act, which calls for Council participation in review of activities affecting NHLs.
The inadequacies of the 1979 MOA became apparent when the scope of the Navy’s plans for the redevelopment of Ford Island became known to the Council and NPS in 1998. Ford Island is located in the harbor and contains buildings and structures associated with its historic use as officer housing and a naval air station. Traditionally accessible only by ferry, a bridge between the island and the mainland opened in 1998. That access will facilitate a proposed $500 million master plan that, as originally proposed, would include 600 homes for Navy personnel, a Navy museum, and other development.
At the February 1999 Council meeting in Hawaii, Council members gained first-hand understanding of the complexities of the Navy’s Ford Island plans, as well as the Navy’s challenges in managing numerous obsolete and deteriorated facilities within the Naval Complex. Concern voiced by the Council members has resulted in the Navy’s initiative to revisit the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex MOA and expand the scope of a new PA to include all historic properties within the Navy Region Hawaii.
The Navy Region Hawaii PA is one of the first major Federal property management agreements developed under the 1999 regulations and may serve as a model in future consultations. The Navy has been responsive to the consultation requirements set out in the 1999 regulations, and the successful partnership that has arisen through the consulting parties’ review of Navy operations and the Ford Island redevelopment proposal will benefit the significant historic properties located throughout Hawaii, particularly those at the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex.
Staff contact: Lee Keatinge
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