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Programmatic Agreement still not signed

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - The exclusion of a decision on Pagat in the Record of Decision may stem from the refusal of certain parties to sign of on the Programmatic Agreement.  Last Friday the We Are Guahan organization along with four other local groups met with Guam State Historic Preservation Officer Lynda Aguon and via teleconference spoke to Bill Manley, preservation officer of NAVFAC Environmental, a key player in the PA process on the federal side.  

"The tone of the meeting was that they were going to move forward with the record of decision with or with out the consulting parties signing off on the programmatic agreement and with or with out Lynda Aguon and Joe Duenas, Guam's local SHIPO officer, signing-off on the Programmatic Agreement," noted Attorney Leevin Camacho with We Are Guahan.  "As we saw yesterday that did not happen and they had to pull certain things out of the Record of Decision because Section 106 consultation has not been completed."

Camacho called the invitation to consult a "hollow gesture", coming months after the groups had express an interest in contributing input.  "We don't know at this point whether or not they are going to reengage or invite us to the table to talk about the next step, or whether or not this is just time for them to get around public involvement," he added.

The Programmatic Agreement is a document that outlines how historical and archaeological resources will be managed during the military buildup.  If this is news to you, according to Camacho, that is the core of the problem.  "People are surprised about this Programmatic Agreement and the Section 106 consultation and that's just going to show the lack of public input in this process," he said.

Camacho say he believes if the parties - Aguon specifically - had signed-off on the document, Pagat's fate would be sealed...at least as far as the ROD is concerned.  "They tried to work behind the scenes and force everyone to sign off on it and it did not happen, so the ball's kind of in the Department of Defense's court," Camacho stated.  

"They can do what Lynda Aguon has been asking them to do for over a year now, which is hold public hearings on the National Historic Preservation Act and to engage the public or they can continue to deal with their select group of federal officials and other officials and make their own decisions."

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