Activists to protest DEIS
Friday, 20 November 2009 03:59 by Therese Hart | Variety News Staff
EVEN with the draft environmental impact statement scheduled for release and public comment by tomorrow, the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice is staging a rally at the ITC intersection from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today in protest of the impact study.
The draft study is expected to report the impact the proposed military buildup and
population boom on Guam.
According to Victoria Leon Guerrero, spokesperson for the coalition, the study was not conducted in a manner that demonstrated a true assessment of the social, cultural and political implications of increased military presence on island.
“Local residents and their elected officials were largely excluded from the process of gathering information and making recommendations for this study,” said Leon Guerrero.
The 10-volume, 1,000-page document is huge and the community will have 90 days to
Leon Guerrero said even with the extension, this does not provide a sufficient opportunity for local residents to thoroughly investigate its findings and voice their concerns.
The Department of Defense is already finalizing their plans for the build-up, without first taking into consideration the comments and concerns from local residents and leaders, she said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Ben Pangelinan suggested the mayor’s offices, libraries and commercial centers as possible sites to hold public hearings and review of the impact study.
“I am happy to provide this information to [the Joint Guam Program Office],” the senator said. “I am also somewhat perplexed that during all the planning and discussions on the [study] for the past several months which, in my opinion were an important component to the process, we were never asked for any input. But for simple solutions as to location sites, our suggestions and ideas are valued.”