Guam – The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the governor’s office are both chiming in on the programmatic agreement between DOD and GovGuam. Both support the Guam State Historic Preservation Officer Lynda Aguon.
As you may recall Aguon has said she is reluctant to sign the programmatic agreement because of certain provisions it contains and because the public has not had a chance to give their input. Aguon admitted to PNC news that she felt pressured by DOD officials to sign the agreement by September Eighth or else DOD would lose out on funding for construction projects.
This programmatic agreement defines how DOD is to deal with historic and cultural artifacts that it impacts or discovers during the construction phase of the buildup. It’s an extensive and complicated agreement that some feel is being rushed without the proper input from the public. In fact the national trust for historic preservation has submitted comments stating that DoD has:
1) failed to fully address concerns regarding impacts to Pagat village
2) failed to coordinate section 106 review effectively with the NEPA process
3) failed to properly involve the public in consultation
4) failed to propose adequate mitigation for the cumulative impacts of the buildup on historic properties
5) failed to conduct and open and transparent review process
We Are Guahan too has submitted comments essentially agreeing with Aguon and her reluctance to sign, the vice-speaker of the legislature has also drafted a legislative resolution that stands behind Aguon and now the governor’s deputy chief of staff Shawn Gumataotao says they feel the same way. “We are of the opinion that we will not be rushed to sign any document until our staff’s, the community’s concerns have been addressed. This is something that we believe is important. Will it delay any of the projects that remains to be seen,” he explained.
Gumataotao says that DOD has made it clear that they should be able to get funding for most of their projects as soon as the record of decision is signed which is why he’s not sure that they need the programmatic agreement to be signed in order to get funding for Military construction projects.