Pacific Daily News

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Jan. 6, 2010) - Starting this week, the Department of Defense will be holding several village meetings throughout Guam and the Northern Marianas to answer questions about the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the military buildup.

This is a good opportunity for residents to find out more about what kind of impact the buildup will have on Guam, Tinian and Saipan. We strongly encourage residents, especially those who have concerns they want made known, to attend these meetings.

People also can read the draft EIS for themselves to get a better understanding of what the buildup will mean for Guam and the region. You can view the document online. If you don't have Internet access at home, you can visit the second floor of the Agana Shopping Center, the Hagåtña public library, the University of Guam Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Library, or the mayors' offices in Yigo, Dededo, Barridaga, Agat and Mangilao.

Credit should be given to the Joint Guam Program Office (JGPO) and the military for holding these public meetings to disseminate information and answer questions. And the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, in coordination with JGPO, also produced a special informative insert that ran in the Pacific Daily News after Christmas that explained what an EIS is, the importance of public participation, and how the public can get involved.

These efforts to inform residents of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands about the buildup and its ramifications are important. The more that all of us know about the military's expansion plans and what they will mean for our island, the better.

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