Concerns grow about military's plan
by Nick Delgado
Just days before the Joint Guam Program Office will release the draft environmental impact statement for island residents to review, there are growing concerns about the military's intentions for the buildup. Senator Ben Pangelinan today expressed concerns about the military's position on landing cargo at the Navy side of Apra Harbor.
As KUAM News first reported a point letter was sent to Adelup detailing the military's position that they are exempt from customs inspections for their ships and aircraft. Senator Pangelinan says he's also received disparaging concerns about the navy's intent to divert inbound cargo to their facilities.
But Joint Guam Program Office Executive Director Major General David Bice says that's definitely not the case, noting, "We're very much interested in the modernization and expansion of the Commercial Port, because that's where we see the bulk of all the construction material and the like coming through there."
But Pangelinan says there seems to be some undermining activity occurring at Apra Harbor without any concern about how Guam would fare as certain adverse events are allowed to happen. The military's positions come just days before the highly anticipated release of the military's draft environmental impact statement.
Said Bice, "It's certainly the most complex and largest EIS that I've ever been involved in. And I've been base commander in California." While there has been major criticism about the military's lack of communication with GovGuam, Bice says, "This has been a very public process, I have discussed with your viewers and certainly with the leaders in Guam, the legislature, congresswoman Bordallo. The leadership and the public has been a part of this process so far and will continue to be."
Bice says he, along with Coastal Management, the Guam EPA, DPW, the Historic Preservation Trust, and the Department of Agriculture, has reviewed the DEIS and have made necessary changes. Bice says once the voluminous document is released this Saturday, the public will have from November 21 to February 17 to provide comment.
The DEIS will be available for the public's review at the Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library in Hagatna; the RFK Library at the University of Guam Library in Mangilao; and at the Yigo, Dededo, Barrigada, Mangilao and Tinian mayor's offices.
You can also find the DEIS this Saturday at GuamBuildupEIS.us.