On The Eve of The ROD, Legislative Disappointment

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Guam – The Record of Decision for the Guam military buildup is expected to be signed and released Tuesday morning. But members of the Guam Legislature are dissatisfied with what’s in it.

Speaker Judi Won Pat tells PNC news that the people of Guam have been ignored. “It’s really clear to us that they didn’t listen to the people it’s not reflective in the Final EIS they’re moving forward with the signing tomorrow without addressing the concerns of the people so it’s clear that they’re not really interested in hearing the people.”

The legislature passed two resolutions opposing the military’s plans for the buildup.

The first resolution dealt with the Draft Environmental Impact Statement or DEIS. The legislature held a series of public hearings on the DEIS and received testimony from hundreds of island residents that they packaged and submitted along with a resolution opposing the military’s plans for the buildup.

Concerns included the impacts on the environment for example the impacts to Apra harbor if acres of coral is dredged to make way for an aircraft carrier and the military’s plans to use Pagat as a firing range complex. “If they really heard what the people were saying their basic concern was Pagat losing Pagat and that’s still there and that’s just a sign of disrespect for the people and the culture,” said Speaker Won Pat.

The Final EIS still lists Pagat as the military’s preferred alternative for the firing range complex. In fact the Final EIS still contains much of the same plans that were contained in the Draft EIS. The only major difference is what DOD calls Adaptive Program Management which is essentially the promise that they will pace the buildup with what Guam’s infrastructure can handle.

Speaker Won Pat says she’s also concerned about the proposed economic benefits of the buildup. She’s afraid local workers and local businesses will be left out of the billions of dollars that will be spent on Guam for the buildup.

“They’re not seeing the contracts so as soon as the ROD is signed it’s going to all of these companies off-island and nothing here because no one here has even said anything and I spoke to a large company and they too have not gotten any project at all,” explained Wonpat.

 

After all of the work the legislature has done in getting public input and after reviewing the thousands upon thousands of pages in both the DEIS and FEIS Speaker Wonpat says the signing of the ROD seems inevitable. “Again to me it’s just a total disrespect for the people of Guam and the elected officials because no matter what we say they’re moving forward,” said Speaker Wonpat.