Quantcast

Tuesday, July 22, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Navy to review plan for building firing range over ancient village

By Audrey McAvoy / Associated Press

POSTED:



The Navy said it will re-evaluate a proposal to build a live-fire training range at the site of an ancient village on Guam after a lawsuit challenged its plans.

Joseph Ludovici, director of the military's Joint Guam Program Office, which is coordinating the U.S. military's buildup on Guam, said in a court filing Tuesday that additional analysis on the matter "was appropriate."

He said the Navy would begin to prepare a new environmental impact statement on the issue early next year.

The decision comes a year after historic preservation groups and Guamanians sued the Navy, alleging it failed to adequately consider locations that would have less of a harmful impact on the environment and historic sites.

It further alleged the Navy failed to adequately examine the environmental consequences of its actions.

The lawsuit said archaeological studies date the village, Pagat, to A.D. 700, while traditional knowledge indicates the village was inhabited 3,000 years ago. The village has up to 20 sets of carved stone pedestals, called "latte," upon which the indigenous Chamorro people set buildings.

The Navy wants to build the firing range complex on Guam so Marines due to move to the U.S. territory from Okinawa, Japan, will have a place to train.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a party in the lawsuit, welcomed the Navy's decision to reconsider.

"Pagat Village is a rare and extraordinary site, filled with history and culture," the group's president, Stephanie Meeks, said in a statement. She added, "The Navy made the right decision to re-open the public review process and we would like to thank them for reconsidering the location of these firing ranges."

The trust put Pagat on its 2010 list of the most endangered historic places in the U.S. because of the Navy's plans.

At its peak the military buildup on Guam is expected to boost the territory's population by 79,000 people, or 45 percent, from its current 180,000 residents.

Guam is about 3,700 miles southwest of Hawaii and 1,500 miles south of Tokyo.






 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(0)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
IN OTHER NEWS
Latest News/Updates
Blogs