Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New workshops continue DEIS analysis

New workshops continue DEIS analysis

Posted: Jan 18, 2010 9:36 PM PST
by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Governor's Office will be hosting its first in a pair of workshops this evening on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement at the Yigo Senior Citizens Center. You may wonder what the difference is between these workshops and last week's event, which was hosted by the Joint Guam Program Office.

According to Government of Guam consultant Matrix Design Group, the workshops will provide island residents with complete information that's in the DEIS along with fact sheets that summarize the 11,000-page document.

Although the team was not hired to provide a technical review of the DEIS, Matrix Vice-President Celeste Werner admits they do have some concerns, telling KUAM News, "We felt as though there were impacts that were not quantified or qualified. We believe that there are areas that they're missing the methodology on how they developed the conclusions in some areas."

Governor Felix Camacho says his concerns include that the DEIS assumes that the Government of Guam will have the financial capacity to mitigate and pay for the military buildup. Camacho says it's an issue that Guam must fight against.

He said, "There's certainly going to be a need for the United States to recognize this is an imposition on the Government of Guam and our people - this military buildup. We are not compared to the island of Hawaii or the other 48 continental U.S. states, or even Alaska." The governor added, "We do not as a government have the financial capacity to go and borrow anymore money or to go and raise our revenues or our taxes to the point that can mitigate or pay for these things."

Governor Camacho adds that he fully opposes sending anymore marines from Okinawa than the original 8,000 agreed upon. Meanwhile, Matrix will be educating the public during its workshops on how to provide what they call action comments that the Department of Defense will actually respond to. Another village workshop will be held tomorrow at the Mangilao Senior Citizens Center from 6-8:30pm.

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