by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Navy officially published a notice of intent to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement for a live-fire training range complex to support the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam today. This means a public scoping period has begun and comments will be accepted until April 6.
While the Department of Defense indicated that the Route 15 - Pagat area was the most suitable location, the Navy is currently evaluating other options such as two areas adjacent to Route 15 and three at Naval Magazine. We Are Guahan member Attorney Leevin Camacho says the organization is hopeful the DoD will have open and honest discussions but they do have reservations as those are the only areas under consideration for the firing ranges.
"So we want to look at their plans for Naval Magazine, we want to ensure that they are going to consider all the impacts on historic and cultural sights that are up there at Fena," he said. "So the numbers may change, but we are concerned about for example the DoD taking more land, we want to make sure that civilians, the 160,000 people who live on Guam today, that we're not going to be significantly impacted with no mitigation."
Joint Guam Program Office director Joseph Ludovici said the Navy remains committed to its promise to not impact access to Pagat Village and cave as evaluation of alternatives is underway. Three public open house-style scoping meetings will be held next month to gather public input on the scope of the SEIS. Meetings will be held on March 17 at the UOG Field House, March 19 from Southern High School; and March 20 at the Yigo Gymnasium.