EIS hearing Thursday at Santa Rita
By Laura Matthews • Pacific Daily News • January 4, 2010
Southern residents will get the first chance to provide feedback on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement with public hearings starting this week.
The first round of hearings on the draft EIS begins 7 p.m. Thursday at Southern High School in Santa Rita, and Agat Mayor Carol Tayama is encouraging people in the south to come out and express their views.
The mayor said she has been receiving e-mails from residents in her village informing her of their concerns, and she wants them to know that this is the venue where they can act.
"They have to come out and voice their concerns," Tayama said. "This is the time now if they want to see any changes. I really encourage residents in the south that if they have any concerns, that this is the time to bring them up."
The draft Environmental Impact Statement will provide a detailed account of how Guam's community will be affected through changes caused by the buildup. These include access to recreation locations, safety, labor-related issues, population increase and associated effects, increases in traffic, utility requirements, noise, land use, educational facilities, public health and social services and impact to tourism.
Tayama said she plans to attend the public hearing to listen and make her concerns known.
Other residents are planning to do the same.
Cerila P. Skvaril, a 52-year-old living in Nimitz Hill, said she plans to attend at least one of the hearings on the environmental impact report because she has five children who are likely to be affected by the decisions that will be made with the military buildup.
Skvaril is concerned about the environmental impact of the military buildup on the island, and the fact that local land could be taken by the federal government.
"It is devastating to know the United States government has so much resources and the little resources we have they want to destroy it," Skvaril said.
She said residents who will not attend the hearing should remember that in the end "they will pay for it and their children will pay the price."
Nevertheless, there are some who won't be sharing their point of views at the upcoming hearings.
"I will not attend because I don't have the time. I am always working," said Jhune Cortes, 39, from Astumbo. "But I think people should say whether they want the buildup or not, and I think the buildup is going to be better for the economy."