Inos says talk on proposed military build up ‘work in progress’

Inos

Inos

Gov. Eloy S. Inos described the ongoing discussions regarding a proposed military build-up in the CNMI as a “work in progress.”

Inos recently met with representatives of the U.S. military headed by Lt. Gen. Anthony Crutchfield, the deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii, at Capital Hill to discuss proposed military activities on the CNMI.

Inos stressed that the presence of Crutchfield brings the discussions—particularly on a draft environmental impact statement on proposed live-fire exercises on Tinian and Pagan—closer to Washington.

“Some of the issues we are discussing are still a ‘work in progress.’ We hope to have an amicable solution to the discussions,” Inos said.

Inos further said it is a good thing that the general has set a schedule to meet with Tinian leaders.

“I agree with the governor that the discussion (on draft EIS) is a work in progress. We hope to bring clarity to what the DoD really wants to do,” Crutchfield said.

Crutchfield affirmed that part of his job is to “interface” with leaders in Washington, D.C. particularly top officials of the U.S. Department of Defense.

He said the visit to Tinian will be helpful.

Crutchfield said that disagreements are to be expected but it is his hope that the disagreements should not be based on hearsay or brought about by emotions.

“We want to be good partners,” Crutchfield said.

Reaction to draft  EIS review
During the same meeting, Craig Whelden, executive director of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, said initial statements presented by a third party consultant on the draft EIS were “too broad.”
“The statements I have seen they’ve made in recent days, are a little too broad for me to comment on, because I don’t know exactly what they mean when they say that the legality of it (draft EIS) is inadequate, or alternatives have not been considered, or we (military) have not engaged enough with the CNMI public,” Whelden said.

Dentons US LLC was hired two weeks ago by the CNMI to conduct the independent review of the draft EIS.

Dentons presented its initial review and has deemed the EIS documents to be “inadequate.”

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Joel D. Pinaroc | Reporter
Joel Pinaroc worked for a number of newspapers in the Philippines before joining the editorial team of Saipan Tribune. His published articles include stories on information technology, travel and lifestyle, and motoring, among others. Contact him at joel_pinaroc@saipantribune.com.

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  • Juanita Mendiola

    When you say that it is work in progress and then Wheldon comes out trying to make us look stupid by accusing us of being overly dramatic or that we do not understand what is in the draft then we have a problem. Wheldon, by that statement, already admits that there is a problem in gathering information as he thinks we do not understand. How can you adequately judge the people’s sentiments if all you think you are hearing are misinformation. If there is misinformation then that means there is great misunderstanding and you failed miserably to convey the plans to the people. And, governor, perhaps you should just be quiet until the review is out so you can make a wise decision. What you are stating now is that you are hopeful. That is all the military needs to keep at it. And, don’t you dare make deals without our input!

    • RCGuam

      Wheldon is trying to help by asking for specific reasons why the DEIS is not compliant with NEPA as your consultant claims. Seems your consultants are like many of the anti military commentators like you in that they make baseless unsubstantiated claims. But don’t worry, if you hire them to sue the Navy I am sure they will come up with something to bill you for.

      • jun

        Buenas RCGuam,

        This day and age, it is all about the Benjamin or the green back and they would do anything to keep it coming or flowing. It is an opportunity of a life to milk money from the CNMI government, knowing that the end result would not in the favor of the CNMI government and our working poor would end up being affected the most.

        Si Yu’us Ma’ase

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