by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has echoed many of the same concerns as residents and elected officials after reviewing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld said the federal agency rated the DEIS as "environmentally unsatisfactory".
The USEPA found that the project will result in unsatisfactory impacts to Guam's existing substandard drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, which could result in significant adverse public health impacts. The feds also determined that the methodology used in the DEIS for evaluating the full extent of impacts to the coral reef habitat was inadequate noting that the DEIS fails to present an adequate plan for mitigating the unavoidable loss of 71 acres of coral reef habitat.
Blumenfeld expressed EPA's concerns about the magnitude of the project impacts saying they could further impede the island's efforts to comply with federal regulations. In fact they are so concerned that EPA believes the buildup should not proceed as proposed until all of their concerns related to drinking water, wastewater, coral reefs, the impacts of construction workers, air quality and waste management are first addressed before the final EIA and record of decision.