Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Policy committee for military buildup formed

Policy committee for military buildup formed

Saipan Tribune
Monday, February 01, 2010

The Military Integration Management Committee Policy Committee convened last week to discuss the plan of action for the CNMI in regards to the impending military buildup in our region.

The policy committee is chaired by Gov. Benigno R. Fitial with Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos as vice chairman. The Commonwealth's leaders make up the rest of the policy committee's composition: House Speaker Froilan C. Tenorio, Senate President Paul A. Manglona, Saipan Mayor Donald P. Flores, Tinian Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz, Rota Mayor Melchor A. Mendiola, and Northern Islands Mayor Ramona Rebuenog. In their roles as policy committee members, they are the only voting members of the MIMC.

At that meeting, the policy committee was briefed on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) as well as updates from the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) and the Guam Advisory Consulting Team (ACT) in regards to the anticipated military buildup.

The committee agreed that it is extremely important for the CNMI government to work together with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the territory of Guam, through the MIMC. Tom Linden, as the MIMC Coordinator, is tasked as the point of contact (POC) for all military related activities with respect to the buildup. All buildup communications should be channeled through his office, which shall communicate with the DOD and the Guam officials.

The MIMC was formed to address the concerns of CNMI residents and to maximize possible economic impacts. “With the strong support of our policy committee members, along with a strong OEA technical support, the MIMC should be able to assist CNMI residents successfully mitigate impacts of the buildup,” stated Commerce Secretary Michael Ada.

Fitial is very pleased with the formation of the policy committee and highlighted the importance of bringing the leaders of all the islands together. “This is an opportunity to seek common ground and reach a unified position that will benefit all the residents of the Northern Mariana Islands,” said Fitial.

The MIMC is slated to meet again on Feb. 9 to put together a unified comment from its members. The deadline for submission of comments regarding the draft EIS is on Feb. 17, 2010. The public is urged to participate in the comment submission and they may either submit their comments to their respective elected leaders before Feb. 9 or submit them online at the website, before Feb. 17. (PR)

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