U.S. Navy signs Record of Decision for the MITT Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement
ASAN, Guam (July 31, 2015) – The U.S. Navy announced today its decision to implement its Preferred Alternative (Alternative 1) to support and conduct military readiness activities primarily within established military areas of the Mariana Islands Training and Testing (MITT) Study Area. The decision was made after carefully considering the potential impacts that training and testing activities may have on the human, natural and cultural environment and the public’s comments on the proposal and environmental analysis. The Navy used the best available science in conducting its comprehensive analysis of the impacts of training and testing activities on 13 resource areas, as well as cumulative impacts.
Implementation of the Preferred Alternative (Alternative 1) will help to ensure the Navy accomplishes its mission to maintain, train and equip combat-ready military forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas, while minimizing potential environmental impacts to the greatest extent practicable.
The Record of Decision documents the Navy's decision to conduct military readiness activities as described in the Final EIS/OEIS under Alternative 1, the Preferred Alternative. Training and testing activities will include the use of active sonar and explosives, pierside sonar maintenance and testing alongside Navy piers located in inner Apra Harbor, and land-based training activities at existing ranges and other training locations on Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The Navy’s activities would not alter the public’s current access to cultural and historic areas, and the Navy continually strives to train and test in a manner that is compatible with civilian activity on land and at sea.
The Record of Decision and completion of the Final EIS/OEIS follows several years of research, analysis and public involvement. The Navy held five public scoping meetings in September 2011 and four public meetings in November 2013 for the Draft EIS/OEIS. The Final EIS/OEIS includes public comments received during the Draft EIS/OEIS review period and Navy responses to those comments. The Navy also considered and responded to comments received after publishing the Final EIS/OEIS May 23, 2015.
The Record of Decision and Final Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) are available online at www.MITT-EIS.com and at the following public libraries: University of Guam Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Library, Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library, Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, Tinian Public Library and Rota Public Library.