Guam – Governor Eddie Baza Calvo Thursday received the latest draft Programmatic Agreement. The draft is under review. The language now includes the military’s Pagat village promise in the latest draft Programmatic Agreement.
Talks began in late January over Pagat village when Navy Under Secretary Robert Work promised Governor Calvo that civilians would have 24/7 access to the village.
Governor’s Chief Policy Advisor Arthur Clark engaged the Navy in negotiations, resulting in back and forth corrections to the Programmatic Agreement language on Pagat.
Clark, at the Governor’s direction, worked with the Navy to include language about 24/7 unimpeded access to Pagat village and caves. In addition, the draft now clearly defines that Guam will retain ownership of Pagat village and caves, which will not be included in the firing range footprint as represented in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.
Clark stressed that the document still is a draft and that he will be reviewing it further with the State Historic Preservation Officer, Lynda Aguon. Clark gave credit also to local voices instrumental in framing discussions with Department of Defense on the Pagat issue.
The new draft also includes a commitment to seek Congressional approval to transfer DoD funds to fully fund a cultural repository facility. Previously, DoD only offered partial funding.
The Governor, in his speech before the Chamber of Commerce earlier this month, said he would pursue negotiations with the Defense Department to place the military’s four pillars on the buildup in writing. These include:
1. Shrinking of the federal footprint by the end of the buildup
2. Leaving Pagat village and caves untouched
3. Using a “One Guam” approach in improving infrastructure
4. Employing a “Green Guam” approach to bolster island sustainability and protect natural resources
“We’re working with the military now on parallel agreements to take care of the other promises,” Governor Calvo said. “But, there’s more we will be negotiating. We’ll be addressing several issues with the federal government when we go to Washington, D.C. next week. This is the time to put all our cards on the table on some long-standing issues.”
These issues include war reparations, compact impact funding, capturing taxes from off-island companies, infrastructure funding, visa waiver programs, funding to deal with the impacts of the population influx, etc.
“We want to get what is best for the people of Guam and the country,” Governor Calvo said. “We’re very pleased with the way things are going.”
The language added to the latest draft reads:
“If DoD selects an alternative for the range complex in the Route 15 area as noted in the FEIS, DOD commits to providing 24 hour a day/seven day a week unimpeded access to the Pagat Village and Pagat Cave historical sites, as part of the measures to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts on historic properties. DoD will adjust proposed plans outlined in the FEIS to continue unfettered access to these important historical and cultural locations. Pagat cave and Pagat village would not be included in the footprint of the complex and full ownership of these properties would remain with the Government of Guam.”