Military gets mayors up to speed on Final SEIS - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Military gets mayors up to speed on Final SEIS

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On Thursday the Joint Guam Program Office briefed village mayors. Last week the Final SEIS was released and today JGPO shared it with the Mayors Council of Guam. Joint Region Marianas commander Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar listened to the concerns raised by the Mayors Council. 

Ordot-Chalan Pago mayor Jesse Gogue wanted answers on when, and who exactly comprises the build up, questioning, "Do we have a general idea of the units the Marine Corps unit that are being moved from Okinawa down to Guam? I mean, who does that include - is that a wing or is it a squadron? What elements are coming from Okinawa to Guam?" While the military is preparing for 5,000 Marines to be relocated from Japan to Guam, according to Bolivar, not all will be permanently stationed here.

"Two-thirds of those 5,000 are going to be rotating so six months. So what's left over for one-third of 5,000 are going to be the folks that we have to house and that permanent party that will be here with their families," said the rear admiral.

Other concerns that were raised had to do with our island's roads and what projects Joint Region Marianas would be undertaking.

Lastly, island mayors wanted to know how the buildup would affect our island's wildlife refuge. Under the Final SEIS the preferred alternative for the Marines live fire training complex is Northwest Field. As a result access to the Wildlife Refuge at Ritidian would be limited. Joint Guam Program Office environmental specialist Rande Sablan said, "We signed a memorandum of agreement and that was signed in June of this year and that puts forward a commitment to do conservation in Northern Guam for the kingfisher and that was considered in their deliberations to give us a biological opinion."

According to Sablan they are anticipating the receipt of the final copy of the biological opinion in about a week. He adds that with regards to the surface danger zone over the Wildlife Refuge they have begun discussions on an agreement on how the refuge can still meet its mission and intended purpose while at the same time allowing the Marine Corps to operate a live fire training range in the area.

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