NAVY LOSES LEGAL BATTLE OVER FARALLON DE MEDINILLA BOMBING

admin's picture

CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD Delegate from Guam U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

 

NEWS RELEASE March 15, 2002

RANGE, UNDERWOOD CONCERNED MARIANAS' MILITARY IMPORTANCE MAY BE AFFECTED

Congressman Robert A. Underwood today expressed his concern in a House Armed Services Committee hearing over a recent U.S. District Court ruling that may result in the closing of Farallon de Medinilla -- the last live fire bombing range in the Western Pacific.

The District Court ruled on March 13 that the U.S. Navy's live-fire training exercises on FDM, a 206-acre island Northeast of Saipan, occasionally killed migratory birds on the island, in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

A remedy for the violations has yet to be remanded by the court, but it could result in the outright closure of the bombing range, which may impact the nation's military readiness and our region's importance in military strategy, Underwood said during the hearing.

"We have to monitor this particular issue carefully, because it has the potential of making Guam and Saipan less inviting for Naval ships to visit," the congressman said.

"This news is critical for those of us who are interested in ensuring that the area around Guam and Saipan remain a very viable training area for Navy vessels and aircraft, and Air Force aircraft.

"While we certainly want to make sure that the Navy is in compliance with all environmental laws and all treaties of the United States, we also have to be mindful of our readiness needs of our people in uniform," the Congressman added.

According to District Court documents, the lawsuit was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity against the U.S. Navy in December 2000.

Farallon De Medinilla has been a bombing range since 1971.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan is expected to issue a decision on the violation next month, the court documents state.

Joseph E. Duenas Special Assistant Office of Congressman Robert A. Underwood, M.C. Guam District Office 120 Father Duenas Ave., Suite 107 Hagåtña, Guam 96910 Phone: (671) 477-4272 Fax: (671) 477-2587

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment