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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Marines To Hold Public Consultations On Guam
Community opinion sought on planned military projects

By Zita Y. Taitano

HAGTA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, Nov. 6, 2012) – There's a lot more going on this week than the Guam and U.S. national elections as the military and local citizens resume efforts to find sites to train and house U.S. Marines required by the military buildup.

The new Joint Guam Program Office director, Navy Cpt. Philip Old, and JGPO Deputy Director U.S. Marines Maj. Darren Alvarez visited Guam Military Buildup Committee Chair Sen. Judi Guthertz Monday to promote public participation in three scoping meetings later this week, which will provide the public with a forum to advise on locations for the live fire training range, a Marine cantonment which will include family housing and how these developments will affect local infrastructure.

"I’m very pleased with the intelligent and well-organized way that they’ve gone about preparing for this supplemental environmental impact statement," Guthertz said in a news release. "This is going to allow both proper public input and also speed up the well-supported public consensus that we want the buildup to go forward promptly and with the best interests of all the people of Guam – military and civilian – in mind."

The first scoping meeting is this Thursday, Nov. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the old McCool School gym/cafeteria (outside the main gate, Naval Base, Building 4175).

The second meeting is Friday, Nov. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Okkodo High School, Dededo while the third meeting will be held Friday, Nov. 10 from noon to 3 p.m. at the University of Guam Field House, Mangilao.

On the table are seven preliminary/alternative locations for the firing range. Two locations are adjacent to Route 15, three at or near Naval Magazine, Guam (near Piti) and one each at Andersen Air Force Base and the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Stations (NCTS, Finegayan).

Potential Marine cantonment areas are at Andersen AFB, NCTS Finegayan, NCTS Finegayan (Main base/South Fin housing), Navy and Air Force property in Barrigada and the Apra area of Naval Base Guam.

Another alternative would be no action at all.

Following the public meetings, Guthertz’s office will host a reading room for members of the public who want to review SEIS documents while the study is being carried out. Members of the senator’s staff will also be available to answer any questions by the public that may arise and assist in drafting comments to submit to JGPO before the Dec. 7, 2012 deadline.

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