DEIS Raises Concerns over Land and Population
Guam - Over the weekend the Department of Defense released it's highly anticipated Draft Environmental Impact Statement or DEIS.
The DEIS is a document thousands of pages long that contains the most detail ever released on the DOD's plans for the Guam Military Buildup. Although no one has had the time to thoroughly review the entire document some have already found some plans that bring up serious concerns.
Senator Ben Pangelinan has already found several things that concern him on the draft EIS. First in his list is the increase in the number of marines that will be moved to Guam. For years DOD has said 8,000 marines and 9,000 dependents would move to Guam from Okinawa. According to the DEIS 11 to 12 hundred more marines could be coming.
Overall the DEIS says that the population of Guam at its peak during the buildup will increase by 75 thousand people. In addition to the increase in people the DEIS also shows that the military plans to obtain more land. DOD is currently looking at utilizing an additional 2200 acres of property that is not currently owned by the military. Much of this land lies along the back road to Andersen. In fact one of
The plans calls for the use of the Pagat area as a firing range. DOD originally planned on using property near NCTAMS or South Finegayan for this firing range however that proved undesirable as the firing range would be near local fishing spots. Thus they have offered an alternative plan. The major problem with the alternative of using Pagat is two things first it's owned by the Chammorro Land Trust and second some of the property contains an important archeological site. Senator Pangelinan says he has hiked through the area in the past and has actually seen the archaeological site which even contains remains of ancient pillars used by the Chamorros known as latte stones.
The site in Pagat is even registered at the Department of Historic Preservation as an archaeological site.
The DEIS is a huge document with volumes of information regarding various plans the military has been considering but up until now has not been willing to make public. Senator Pangelinan says in the past he has asked the military to give some type of milestone releases of what they're working on but those requests were never granted. In fact Senator Pangelinan says he believes withholding all this information until the release of the D.E.I.S. is a “calculated move” on the part of DOD in order to conduct the military buildup “the way they want to do it”.
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