U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zachary Bumpus
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zachary Bumpus

Public hearing held for Tinian infrastructure improvement plans

by Senior Airman Zachary Bumpus
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

Members of the Tinian Government and local community met with Air Force officials at the Tinian Elementary School, during a public hearing for the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Survey for the Tinian Divert fuel pipeline plan, June 6, 2019.

The public hearing affords members of the community an opportunity to have their remarks, concerns, or support regarding the draft SEIS to be added to the official record and given consideration by the Air Force.

“I think this hearing went really well,” said Col. Michael Gimbrone, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Force Posture Division chief. “We had representatives from both the local government and the local community present. It’s so important that we get their input if we are going to be working side by side with them.”

The draft SEIS analyzed two proposed actions. The first is a fuel pipeline from the Tinian seaport to the Tinian International Airport, and the second is roadway improvements to allow for tanker trucks to transport fuel from the seaport to the airport.

The fuel pipeline and its support infrastructure would eliminate the need for bulk fuel storage tanks at the Tinian seaport while still allowing U.S. Air Force tanker divert operations and exercises, while also providing improved infrastructure and capabilities to the local community.

The draft SEIS assessed the impacts both actions would have, including impact to natural resources, cultural resources, social resources, infrastructure, and environmental factors, and concluded that the impacts such as health service strain from additional workers on island to noise pollution from construction would be temporary and within acceptable limits.

“We had a great team out here,” said Gimbrone. “We had legal representatives, archeologists, engineers, cultural resource advisors, and contracting specialists, all out here meeting with the members of the community, both before and after the hearing to explain details and answer questions. We want them to really understand what we want to do here and how we’ll only count it as a success if it’s mutually beneficial for both the Air Force and Tinian.”

While the public hearing has concluded, comments on the draft SEIS can be submitted until July 1, 2019 either online at www.PACAFDivertMarianasEIS.com or mailed to the following address:

Ms.Julianne Turko, AFCEC/CZN
Attn: Tinian Divert SEIS
2261 Hughes Ave, Suite 155
JBSA Lackland, TX 78236-9853

Photo Caption:
Members of the Tinian government and local community meet with U.S. Air Force representatives at the Tinian Elementary School, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, during a public hearing discussing the impact of new fuel pipeline construction and their effect on the local environment and economy June 7, 2019. Discussions are being held and officially recorded regarding support or grievances to the efforts by the United States after Tinian was selected in 2016 for divert activities and exercises.

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