Senator cites negative impacts of military buildup

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Senator Clynt Ridgell is detailing the adverse impacts that the buildup will bring as shown by studies made by the military itself.

While the military buildup is being touted for its economic benefits, the senator said even the Department of Defense admits that the buildup could increase the cost of living, hurt low-income families, increase poverty, increase homelessness, and increase crime.

“These are not my assumptions, these are the military’s own findings as stated in the various studies they were required to publish as part of the National Environmental Policy Act,” Ridgell said.

The senator cited the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) which states that the military buildup “may stress some sectors of the Guam economy (e.g., housing, costs of goods and services) … and this impact would be felt more severely by low-income people, who often do not have resources to buffer hard economic times.”

The senator said these are direct quotes from page 12 of the ROD which was signed after the FSEIS was completed. The FSEIS is a study that was produced by the Department of Defense as a requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act.

While the buildup may benefit some, Ridgell said everyone needs to know that the buildup may not benefit all.

“The people of Guam need to know that DOD’s own findings suggest that the buildup could raise the cost of living, increase crime and harm low-income families—most of whom will not be hired for jobs in the construction industry or military-civilian positions,” the senator said.

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