GUAM LAWMAKERS CRY FOUL ON MILITARY REPORT

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Plagiarism, inaccurate information mar EIS

By Jennifer Naylor Gesick HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety, April 29, 2010) – Guam senators are demanding that the Department of Defense draft a new environmental impact statement, irked that the draft impact study presented to the local community contained a string of inaccurate, inadequate information and plagiarized materials. They are also asking the defense department to conduct a new impact study for important projects such as Apra Harbor and the firing range proposed on Route 15.

Speaker Judi Won Pat responded with utter disgust to the discovery that portions of the draft impact study were plagiarized. "If they are going to plagiarize something that has nothing to do with Guam, then that makes me question all the contractors and experts they consulted," she said.

"This makes me wonder how much of the entire DEIS [draft environmental impact statement] is flawed. The military needs to do some inquiries here," Won Pat added.

She questioned why the contractor TEC, Inc., which wrote the report for the military, would cut and paste scientific information from a source that did not study Apra Harbor.

Won Pat added that it is the plagiarism along with several other discoveries of inadequate and wrong information that prompted the legislature to pass Resolution 275, which says the senators feel that whole sections of the DEIS should be dealt with separately.

Won Pat said, "It is very timely," because Guam is going to be visited by high-level officials in the next few weeks.

Guam is expecting a visit this week from Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Wallace C. Gregson. The senators plan to meet with him, and he is scheduled to give a lecture at the University of Guam entitled "Where America’s Day Begins: Guam and U.S. Engagement in the Asia Pacific."

Senator Rory Respicio was also upset at the recent developments. "I’m shocked," he said. "When anything like this is discovered, it makes the entire document suspect."

"We have already found many problems ourselves and we know that EPA finds it insufficient," added Respicio. "I wonder how many other items like this are scattered throughout the voluminous report? Could it be that EPA was also aware of this, and perhaps other instances where DEIS findings were taken from other sources without acknowledgment?"

He suggested, as others have, that Guam should take more time for the military buildup process. "This is just one more reason that we need to slow down this process and work together, both the federal and local governments, to do it right," said Respicio.Senator Judi Guthertz, chairwoman of the military buildup committee, said, "Dr. Jason Biggs revealed what many suspected all along. The company contracted by the Department of Navy to draft the impact statement for the Guam military buildup did not do a good job."

"In many ways, the multi-thousand page report is misleading, inaccurate, condescending to the people of Guam, and now -- thanks to Dr. Biggs’ discovery – we know it is, at least in part, a dishonest document," said Guthertz.

"The company contracted to do the draft study knows little about Guam and obviously scrambled to find information it could claim to help justify the military buildup preferred option plans for Guam," Guthertz said.

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