Comment period starts today
AT A briefing held yesterday at Adelup, Maj. Darren Alvarez of the Joint Guam Program Office (Forward) announced that the smaller number of Marines relocating to Guam has resulted in more possible sites for the Marines’ live fire training range complex.
Instead of 8,600 Marines and 9,000 dependents relocating to Guam, the new roadmap only calls for some 5,000 Marines and 1,300 dependents.
However, Alvarez stated some actions that were decided by the 2010 Record of Decision are not changing and they will not be covered in the new supplementary environmental impact statement.
“Some of those actions are the training in Tinian and the fact that the air combat element and aviation component of the Marine Corps are still ongoing at Andersen Air Force Base. Also, your water embarkation will still be at Apra Harbor. And lastly, our non-live fire training will be taking place at Andersen South.”
Two additional alternatives were chosen for the firing range as a result of the last comment period in March: Northwest Field at Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Computer and Telecommunications Sites (NCTS) Finegeyan. These are in addition to prior suggestions including Route 15A, Route 15B, and three possible firing ranges at or around the Naval Munitions Site.
Proposals for the cantonment and family housing areas are now Andersen Air Force Base, NCTS Finegayan, and NCIS Finegayan for the cantonment; and South Finegayan Navy Housing, Navy and Air Force Barrigada, and Naval Base Guam for the family housing.
Sen. Judi Guthertz, who heads the Legislature’s military buildup committee, said she is pleased that the military has expanded the potential sites for the firing range and also for the housing area. “Some of the sites they had mentioned were not in the original discussion, three or four years ago. Although we had recommended those areas three or four years ago, they chose not to consider them seriously,” said Guthertz, who also pointed out that some of the proposed alternatives are on land already controlled by the military.
She added: “I do have one concern, as Speaker Won Pat does. We want to ensure that their defining sites for potential housing include the business community on Guam in a public-private partnership, as they have done in Hawaii.”
During the briefing, Alvarez also announced that the SEIS comment period will begin today. Community members can submit written testimony until Nov. 10.
Comments can be mailed to the JGPO office at JGPO FWD, P.O. Box 153246, Santa Rita, Guam 96915 or submitted to the website guambuildupeis.us or during the scoping meetings.
Scoping meetings will be held Nov. 8, 9 and 10 for the Guam community to meet with experts and to provide comment.
On Nov. 8, the scoping meeting will take place at the Old McCool School in Santa Rita in the gym/cafeteria from 5 to 8 p.m.
The second day of scoping meetings will take place Nov. 9 at Okkodo High School.
Comment Submission and Available Resources
- Scoping comments may be submitted in a variety of ways:
- Mail: JGPO FWD, P.O. Box 153246, Santa Rita, Guam, 96915
- Online: http://guambuildupeis.us
- Comments can also be submitted at the scoping meetings.
- The deadline to submit comments is Dec. 10.
- The Joint Guam Program Office will continually add and update content on the SEIS website.
- JGPO will also maintain open and frequent communications between the SEIS scoping period and publication of the Draft SEIS.
- Oct. 12: Notice of Intent for Expanded SEIS
- Nov. 8 to 10: Guam scoping meetings
- Dec. 10: End of scoping period
- Early 2014: Draft SEIS and public hearings
- Late 2014: Final SEIS
- 2015: Record of Decision
Closing out the comment period, the final scoping meeting will take place Nov. 10 at the University of Guam Field House.
“Public input is valued and appreciated. All those preliminary concerns that were identified, they may be refined through the SEIS process. Things can fall off, and things can be added,” Alvarez said.
Copies of the SEIS will also be distributed to public locations for the community to review, such as the village mayors’ offices and the public library.
Also, the SEIS will be posted on the JGPO website, as will comments made from previous comment periods and scoping meetings.
The SEIS and comment period are important components in drafting the master plan for the buildup. The final SEIS is estimated to be completed by late 2014 with the new Record of Decision to be made by 2015.