Guam DEIS "Environmentally Unsatisfactory"

SUBHEAD: The Environmental Protection Agency calls military GUAM expansion plan unsound. Image above: Still from titles of video below from Pacific News Center. By Clynt Ridgell on 25 February 2010 at Pacific News Center - ( Guam - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that the Department of Defense's Draft Environmental Impact Statement of the military buildup is "environmentally unsatisfactory." This comes from a comment paper submitted by the USEPA that is over 100 pages long.

Read the Summary in the Cover Letter of EPA's Assessment of The Guam DEIS

Read the EPA's Assessment of The Guam DEIS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reviewed the 9 volume long Draft Environmental Impact statement of the Guam / CNMI military buildup. Their assessment is that the DEIS is "Environmentally Unsatisfactory". The USEPA gave the DEIS an EU-3 rating. This is the absolute worst rating that the USEPA could have given to the DEIS.

Here's some of their reasons for this rating. For the EU rating the USEPA cites the lack of a specific plan to address the wastewater treatment and water supply needs of the construction workers and induced population growth. The USEPA says this may result in "significant adverse public health impacts."

The second reason is that the "project will result in unacceptable impacts to 71 acres of high quality coral reef ecosystem in Apra harbor."

Then there are the reasons for the 3 rating. The category 3 rating is also the worst rating that they can give it means that the DEIS is inadequate. The first reason for this is that the DEIS offers no specific workable plan for addressing the enormous increase in Guam's population. Finally, the methodology used in the DEIS for evaluating the full extent of impacts to coral reef habitat is not adequate. That is the DEIS does not present an adequate plan for mitigating the unavoidable loss of coral reef habitat.

The EPA also listed several primary concerns. First that the DEIS inappropiately excludes the impacts of construction workers and induced population growth. Secondly the military realignment to Guam will result in an immediate island-wide shortfall in water supply. This will result in low water pressure which has a direct result on public health. It could lead to increased exposure to water borne disease from sewage stormwater infiltration into drinking water and low water pressure for fire fighting. It could also result in saltwater intrusion into Guam's acquifer. Then there is the problems of an already inudated wastewater system. The USEPA says the miltary buildup will result in an increase in raw sewage spills. This means people will be exposed to raw sewage in their drinking water supply, ocean recreation, and shellfish consumption. Finally DOD's inadequate assessment of the dredging of coral in Apra harbor could lead the USEPA to find them in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Furthermore the USEPA states that "These impacts are of sufficient magnitude that EPA believes the action should not proceed as proposed."

CCU Chairman Simon Sanchez has read some of the USEPA's comments and he says they mirror most of what GWA has been saying all along. Sanchez will be meeting with the USEPA and DOD on the second week of March.

Meanwhile the USEPA says that if they are unable to resolve their concerns they may forward the matter to the Council on Environmental Quality.

Video above: Report on EPA review on Guam military DEIS From ( See also: Ea O Ka Aina: Guam as modern Bikini Atoll 12/25/09 .

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