Guam – The Chair of the Legislature’s Buildup Committee, Senator Judi Guthertz says she has found few surprises in the “sketchy details of the ROD” that have begun to emerge. While it represents progress in some areas, she says disappointments remain.
In a release, Senator Guthertz says she is particularly pleased that the ROD officially incorporated her earlier proposal to stretch the buildup over a longer period and to revisit the construction schedule to minimize impacts on the island in its course. A civilian military group will be responsible for making such adjustments.
And the Senator says that local protests over putting “a firing range complex adjacent to the ancient Pagat Village has clearly been recognized by the decision not to immediately proceed with that project until required federal consultations are complete.”
In addition, she points out that DoD has also deferred “the massive dredging proposed for Apra Harbor for an aircraft carrier which would destroy dozens of acres of coral,” pending further study.
But In a letter to Secretary Pfannenstiel regarding the ROD, Sen. Guthertz noted the lack of any financial commitment by the Federal Government.
The release quotes Guthertz as saying: “I’m trying to be optimistic and constructive in order to make this buildup work. The military has its responsibility in this, which is to get all of their projects going and completed and we have ours, which is to make sure this proceeds with the best interests of all the people of Guam in mind”
Guthertz emphasized that the Military-Civilian consulting process and local legal constraints on the military taking of government land will provide many opportunities to fix problems that have been identified.