by Mindy Aguon
Guam - We Are Guahan members are hopeful the Department of Defense will live up "to its' legal obligation this time to ensure that the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is an open and honest process without the need for court intervention". Hawaii District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi dismissed the organization and the Guam Preservation Trust and the National Trust for Historic Preservation's lawsuit against the DOD over plans to build a live fire training range near the ancient village of Pagat.
The judge, in a minute order issued on December 30, found that the case was "moot" or "completed" since Joint Guam Program Office Director Joe Ludovici announced that DOD would conduct an SEIS to re-evaluate live-fire training range complex alternatives. The court found that such action would remedy the deficiencies in the Final EIS and therefore dismissed the case.
As we reported DOD expects to begin the SEIS process in early 2012 with scoping meetings before preparing and releasing a Draft Environmental Impact statement. The process is estimated to take at least two years. While they had wanted the court to oversee the process, We are Guahan Attorney Leevin Camacho said, "Our goal from day one has been to ensure that DOD followed the law.". Judge Kobayashi is expected to issue a full, written order at a later time.