Comment period still open for Draft SEIS - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Comment period still open for Draft SEIS

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - The open house and public hearings may have wrapped up for the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement earlier this week, but you still have time to comment on the nearly 1,400 page document.

For three days this past week at different sections of the island, hundreds of residents attended the open house and public hearings for the Draft SEIS.  Joint Guam Program Office deputy director Major Darren Alvarez told KUAM News, "So we're very happy from the turnout that we got from the public, the public is definitely engaged, for or against, all that is still important."

The Draft SEIS assesses the environmental impacts of the construction and operation of a cantonment, including family housing and a live-fire training range complex on Guam to support the Marines relocation from Okinawa to Guam. "So for the most part, I think everyone is generally happy that its continuing forward for the most part the island does want the buildup to continue and we got that message as well and all the other messages," said Alvarez.

And while organizations like the Guam Chamber of Commerce and the Guam Contractors Association shared their support publicly for the buildup during the hearings, others like We Are Guahan, Our Islands Are Sacred and Ritidian landowners have expressed concern such as whether the buildup would actually benefit Guam. Alvarez says all the feedback will be taken under serious consideration, noting, "We encourage everyone to look at much as possible at the documents to see what's good, what's bad and give us those comments so we can make it the best we can going into the final EIS."

And if you didn't have a chance to attend any of the public hearings, you still have until June 17 to let your voice be heard. "We want help with the documents, there are things that we've gotten wrong, we understand that, that's why the comment period is open," he said.

Alvarez says all the written comments will be compiled with all verbal transcribed for review by the Department of Navy as it develops the final SEIS which is expected in early 2015. After the final SEIS is completed, a Record of Decision is expected shortly thereafter. It should be noted that during this SEIS process, additional information may be discovered that may cause the Navy to change its preferred alternative prior to the release of the final SEIS. That preferred alternative is the live fire training range complex at Northwest Field and a cantonment at Finegayan. You can still submit your comments via mail to JGPO forward or by visiting GuamBuildupEIS.us
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