CNMI Seeks Experts Who Will Review Military Impact Statement

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Office of Governor needs to ‘thoroughly understand the DEIS’

By Joel D. Pinaroc

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, April 21, 2015) – The government is moving forward to hire external expertise to review a draft environment impact statement on military activities in the CNMI.

This despite a pending request for an extension on the EIS review period for six months that the government earlier sent to the military. There are no updates yet if the request will be granted.

The government has started soliciting request for proposals for a third-party contractor or consultant, and has also released the scope of work for the potential consultant who will have advisory functions.

The government said it is seeking "consultant services to ensure that the Office of Governor thoroughly understands the DEIS, its potential positive and negative impacts, and all substantive options, including legal remedies if agreements and other mitigation measures with the military are unable to be reached."

One of the primary goals of the advisory consultant is to also "ensure that the Office of the Governor is well versed on the relevance of the DEIS and has a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of how the Department of Defense proposed action impacts the CNMI, including the direct and indirect impacts, especially those that are less obvious and potentially harmful over the long term operation of live-firing (high explosives) training ranges."

The advisory consultant is also expected to ensure and enable the Office of the Governor "to make informed decisions on behalf of the CNMI."

The consultant is also expected to provide a "reasonable analysis" of the draft EIS and provide counsel and recommendations.

"We understand this is a complex and lengthy document that requires expert review. With this RFP, we are reaching out to potential experts in this technical field," Gov. Eloy S. Inos, in a statement, said.

The government has set May 6 as the deadline for anyone to respond to the RFP. It has also put up advertisements for the RFPs on April 17 and April 24.

The RFP period is for 14 days per procurement rules under the Expedited Purchases clause of the procurement rules and regulations due to the urgency of the services needed.

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