Navy Issues Notice of Intent to Prepare Supplemental EIS for Firing Range Complex

130

Guam – The Department of Navy today published a Notice of Intent to prepare a Supplemental  Environmental  Impact  Statement  (SEIS)  for  a  live‐fire  training  range complex to support the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Japan to Guam. A public scoping period has now begun and comments will be accepted until midnight, April 6, 2012 (Chamorro Standard Time).

The SEIS will supplement the Final EIS for the Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Military Relocation. The SEIS is specific to the live‐fire training range complex on Guam and will evaluate the potential environmental consequences that may  result  from  the  construction  and  operation  of  the  complex  and  associated infrastructure.  

In response to public concerns, a decision on the location for the live‐fire training range complex was deferred in the September 2010 Record of Decision on the Final EIS.  

In January 2011, the Under Secretary of the Navy committed that the proposed live fire training activities would be conducted in a manner such that access to Pagat Village, Cave, and the existing trail leading to these sites would remain available 24 hours per day, seven days per week as is currently available today.  Since that time, the Navy has been evaluating options to satisfy this commitment while also meeting the training requirements of the
relocating Marines. The Navy has preliminarily identified five alternatives for the range complex:  two  in  the  areas  adjacent  to  Route  15,  and  three  at  the  Naval  Magazine (NAVMAG), also known as the Naval Munitions Site.  The SEIS will also consider the No Action Alternative.  

“The Navy takes very seriously the concerns raised during the previous EIS process and remains committed to its promise to not impact access to Pagat Village and Cave,” said Joint Guam Program Office (JGPO) Director Joseph Ludovici. “None of the alternatives that are currently under consideration for the SEIS will affect these areas.”

The  training  range  complex  is  necessary  to  effectively  meet  Marine  Corps  individual weapons training.  The live fire training range complex will consist of a Known Distance (KD) rifle range, KD pistol range, Modified Record of Fire Range, nonstandard small arms range, Multipurpose Machine Gun Range, and a hand grenade range.  The proposed action also includes associated roadways and supporting infrastructure.   

­The Navy will hold three public, open house‐style scoping meetings on Guam. During the meetings, the Navy will collect public comments on the SEIS scope, environmental concerns or topics for consideration.  

Meetings will be held as follows:

* Saturday, March 17 from 1 to 5 p.m., University of Guam Field House, Mangilao
* Monday, March 19 from 5 to 9 p.m., Southern High School, Santa Rita  
* Tuesday, March 20 from 5 to 9 p.m., Yigo Gymnasium, Yigo

Interested parties who are unable to attend the scoping meetings may provide comments online at http://bit.ly/Guam_LFTRC_SEIS or by mail.  Comments may be mailed to:  

Joint Guam Program Office (JGPO) Forward
P.O. Box 153246
Santa Rita, Guam 96915

“Public  participation  in  the  SEIS  process  is  very  important  to  the  Navy,”  Ludovici  said.

“Comments  from  the  community  will  help  us  shape  what  we  will  study  and  to  better understand the potential impacts of the training ranges.”

The  scoping  period  will  remain  open  until  midnight  April  6,  2012  (Chamorro  Standard Time).  All mailed comments must be postmarked by that date.   

For more information, please visit the project Web site at http://bit.ly/Guam_LFTRC_SEIS.    

Please note access to the Web site is public. Individual computer settings may prompt a certificate error pop‐up message.  Please accept the certificate in the pop‐up window to proceed to the site.   [As a reminder, the Web site address is case sensitive.]