Relocation of Marines to Guam: DON to release the Draft SEIS
SANTA RITA, Guam. (Apr. 17, 2014) – On April 18th, the Department of the Navy (DON) will publish a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that assesses the potential environmental impacts of establishing a cantonment with family housing and a live-fire training range complex (LFTRC) in support of the relocation of approximately 5,000 U.S. Marines and approximately 1,300 family members to Guam. The SEIS was initiated in February 2012 to reexamine the siting of the LFTRC and was subsequently expanded in October 2012 to include the cantonment and family housing after the number and composition of the Marine Corps forces changed.
The Draft SEIS does not reevaluate all previous decisions from the 2010 Record of Decision. For example, the Apra Harbor wharf improvements, the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps’ Aviation Combat Element facilities to Andersen Air Force Base (AAFB), the development of the North Gate and access road at AAFB, and the non-live fire training on Andersen South will occur regardless of the location on Guam the cantonment with family housing and the LFTRC are situated. The expanded scope of the SEIS does not include the transient aircraft carrier berthing in Apra Harbor or the Army Air and Missile Defense Task Force.
The Draft SEIS contains a description of the affected environment and a thorough examination of eighteen resource areas for a range of alternatives. The Draft SEIS will be available for review by the public at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Library located in the University of Guam, the Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library in Hagatña, and digitally on the SEIS website (http://guambuildupeis.us) on April 18, 2014.
With the release of the Draft SEIS, the DON has also identified its Preferred Alternative. After considering Marine Corps operational requirements, infrastructure capabilities, environmental factors, and scoping input from the public, resource agencies, and the Government of Guam, the DON’s preferred alternative is to construct and operate a cantonment, including family housing, at Naval Base Guam, Telecommunications Site (NBGTS) Finegayan and a LFTRC at Andersen Air Force Base - Northwest Field (AAFB-NWF). This preferred alternative is not a final decision and may change from the release of the Draft SEIS to the release of the Final SEIS.
“The DON is committed to an open and transparent process in the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps forces to Guam. Our current plans are consistent with our Four Pillars strategy established in January 2011. We encourage the people of Guam to review the Draft SEIS document and provide feedback and comments. This will help us in the process as we work toward a Final SEIS”, said Joseph Ludovici, the Joint Guam Program Office Executive Director and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Infrastructure, Strategy and Analysis.
A public comment period is now open until June 17, 2014 (ChST). The public may submit comments using the following methods:
1) U.S. Postal Service to:
Joint Guam Program Office (Forward)
P.O. Box 153246
Santa Rita, GU 96915
2) Digitally at the SEIS website, http://guambuildupeis.us
3) In person through verbal or written comments at one of our public meetings (see schedule below)
Formal opportunities for the public to provide input will be provided at three public meetings on Guam. The public meetings will be held as listed below:
- Saturday, May 17, 2014, open house from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and public hearing from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Okkodo High School, 660 Route 3, Dededo
- Monday, May 19, 2014, open house from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and public hearing from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Father Dueñas Memorial School Phoenix Center, 119 Dueñas lane, Chalan Pago
- Tuesday, May 20, 2014, open house from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and public hearing from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Gymnasium, Naval Base Guam – Santa Rita Annex, Bldg. 4177, (Former McCool School) Naval Magazine Road, Santa Rita
The format of the public meetings will consist of an open house with informational posters and materials on the Draft SEIS followed by a period of time for the public to provide verbal comments. Written comments will also be accepted at the meetings.
“We are looking forward to an open and productive exchange with the public in the upcoming meetings. There is still much work to be done, and we continue to analyze the range of action alternatives. The input from the local government and the people of Guam is critical to that effort,” Mr. Ludovici stated today.
The DON will not make a decision until completion of the Final SEIS early next year and DON anticipates issuing a Record of Decision (ROD) in 2015.
For additional information about the proposed military relocation and the associated SEIS process please visit our SEIS website at http://guambuildupeis.us. You can also sign up at the SEIS website to receive notifications when new information is posted.