Wednesday, January 06, 2010

DEIS public hearings begin

DEIS public hearings begin

Wednesday, 06 January 2010 05:35
by Zita Y. Taitano | Variety News Staff

THE first of series of public hearings on the draft environmental impact statement will be held at the Southern High School in Santa Rita tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

An open house will follow from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Agat mayor Carol Tayama and Santa Rita mayor Dale Alvarez are confident of the attendance and believe there will be a lot of people who want to know more about the draft study and how the military buildup will affect them.

“Especially people from the south because this is going to affect all the different areas (and) I highly encourage that they all come out and speak about their concerns, whatever concerns that they may have,” said Tayama.

“I understand that even residents from the north and central parts of Guam are coming down to find out what is going on,” said Alvarez.

Tayama said she has been getting emails from constituents seeking information about the military’s plan to use a trail to Mt. Jumullong Manglo near Mt. Lamlam as a training site.

Residents hike that mountain on Good Friday every year. The site is located along the Agat/Umatac road.

“According to the [draft study], that area will be blocked off so that the military can do their training. When they do that, that takes away from the culture and people are concerned about that so they need to come out,” Tayama said.

“It’s only once a year that we use that track and it’s part of our culture. If that area is blocked off, it will be very sad because we won’t be able to use that,” she added.

She said residents should not wait until the environmental study is finalized before they say what’s on their mind. “Now is the time that while they’re doing all the input from us, the opportunity is there and we need to take advantage of it,” the mayor said.

The public hearings continue this Saturday at the University of Guam Field House. The open house is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and the public hearing is from 3 to 5 p.m.

Next Monday, the hearings move up north to Yigo at the Yigo Gymnasium and on Tuesday at Okkodo High School in Dededo. All meetings start at 5 p.m.

Another hearing will be held Thursday next week at Tinian Elementary School on Tinian. On Friday, the hearings will be at Saipan’s multipurpose center in Susupe along Beach Road.

Residents have until 3 p.m. on Feb. 18 (Guam time) to review the study and send comments.

DEIS can be viewed at Print copies are available at the following Guam locations: The University of Guam Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Library; Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library in Hagatna; the Guam Legislature; Agana Shopping Center.

In the CNMI, the DEIS is available at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library; Northern Marianas College Olympio T. Borja Memorial Library; and the Tinian Public Library.

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