Call for transparency and extension of DEIS commenting period

In 2006, Washington and Tokyo agreed to shift thousands of U.S. Marines from Okinawa after complaints that, with half of Japan's population of 47,000 US military personnel, the island was over burdened. Part of the deal struck by the two nations involved the relocation of forces and a massive military buildup on the island of Guam, without consulting the Guamanian population. Currently the US military occupies approximately 1/3 of the Guam's landmass. One of the many issues local Guam residents are concerned about are the measures the military will take to acquire the additional lands they seek to complete their mission. An Environmental Impact Study (EIS) was released last November using vague language making it unclear to private landowners whether or not the military would seek to negotiate with landowners instead of resorting to the use of eminent domain and/or land condemnation. This petition calls for the military to reveal to the public their plans to acquire land and to extend the period of time residents have to review and respond to said plan.
We the undersigned request more transparency on the issue of military land acquisition and an extension to review the DEIS on the proposed military buildup on Guam. According to our member of Congress, Madeleine Z. Bordallo, any proposal by the Department of Defense to acquire land for a military project through any process must be reviewed by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees for their approval or rejection.

The People of Guam were given 90 days to review and respond to the 11,000 page DEIS in which the Department of Defense states its plans to increase its land inventory in the Unincorporated Territory of Guam to include approximately 40% of the island's landmass. As evident in recent EIS hearings, concerns about land acquisition among other critical issues have emerged. Given this 90 day commenting period, the people of Guam have not been given adequate time and resources to comment on the Department of Defense's plans to increase its land inventory, especially when the Land Acquisition Impact Study portion of the Socioeconomic Impact Assessment Study has not been made available to the public.

We call on the Department of Defense to make the Land Acquisition Impact Study public and once it is released to give the people of Guam an extension of at least 120 days to review and respond.

Thank you for taking time to review our concerns and we look forward to your prompt response to this request.

Sincerely,
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