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Military meets with senators on Final SEIS

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Following its release late last week and a briefing with the governor, military officials continue to meet with island leaders on the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.  

"I'm happy they've listened," proclaimed Speaker Judi Won Pat. She and nine other senators and their staffers met with officials from the Joint Guam Program Office this morning for nearly two hours in a closed-door meeting. The subject: the long-waited release of the Final SEIS.

Joint Region Marianas Commander Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar says it's been a long road, saying, "We've had quite the journey over the last few years, the 2010 Draft EIS was very difficult and challenging for our island, but over the last few years, we've listened not only to the Government of Guam. but to our people of our One Guam."

And while she says the military did listen to the people of Guam, Speaker Won Pat says several questions still remain, noting, "The big question, of course, and that's the Devil in the details, is exactly what the mitigations are. So that means we have to go through the individual chapters to pull them out; it wasn't very clear." Some of the issues include the impact the over 5,000 US Marines and their 1,300 dependents would have on Guam's roads, a cultural repository, Section 30 funds and of course the highly contentious live fire training range complex up Northwest Field or Litekyan.

"The disturbing thing about it is the Record of Decision will be out in 30 days and they feel very confident that they'll be able to get an understanding between Fish and Wildlife and DOD," continued Won Pat. "So we don't know where that's going. They did indicate that Fish and Wildlife is still taking the same position that they don't want to be relocated, they don't want their building to move, they don't want any shift at all, and especially in light of the newest discoveries of Latte villages."

JGPO notes issues regarding the live fire training range related to access to Ritidian Beach still need to be resolved as well. Bolivar says discussion with the senators is all part of the journey to ensure all area of concerns are addressed. "So there a lot of things that really great questions that we were able to answer, but we also have some homework items we out to the Legislature," she stated.

She adds some of the issues brought forth by senators weren't even tied to the SEIS, but will be addressed include renewable energy programs and solid waste. And just as Bolivar will do her homework, so will Won Pat as she plans to read through the over 1,000 pages of the Final SEIS. JGPO officials will next meet with the Mayors Council of Guam. 

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