With over 10 years since their last update, the military provided a presentation about their ongoing build-up efforts.
PNC’s Devin Eligio has that update…
As more military-related construction projects are anticipated to both begin and complete shortly, concerns over the cultural and environmental effects of the military build-up continue to be voiced.
According to Senator Sabina Perez, she states, “So it’s really hard to hear this. To see… to hear this time and time again of the destruction of our environment, the destruction of our cultural resources, and to have it presented like it’s a good thing.”
Senator Sabina Perez’s comments follow the Marine Corps Marianas’ presentation on their projected construction projects.
As of today, a total of 14 projects have been completed, 41 are currently in construction, and 46 projects are expected to begin.
In his presentation, NAVFAC Marianas Environmental Director Al Borja shared the military’s mitigation efforts toward concerns over the controversial firing range construction — stating that all of their design developments were reviewed by Guam EPA and were sought approval for under the Safety Drinking Water Act. He adds, “The development that currently is happening is no accident.”
Borja went on to explain several more mitigation strategies and efforts, such as the relocation of live species and the careful excavation and curation of cultural artifacts and remains.
Colonel Bach rounded off the military’s presentation with the purpose of their projects, reminding those in attendance of the anticipated transfer of Marines from Okinawa to Guam. Colonel Bach states and quote, “The pace of construction, everything that’s happening here on Guam means we are on track to meet the agreement between the government of the United States and the government of Japan.”
Moreover, Senator Joanne Brown also emphasized the importance of “open dialogue” between Guam and the military to eliminate qualms toward the build-up. She adds, “I think more open dialogue and engagement and the opportunity to ask questions and hear your responses to that, I think would be more fruitful dialogue.”
For the Pacific News Center
I’m Devin Eligio