Torres: US Navy lawsuit concerns raised by admin

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said some of the concerns raised in the lawsuit filed by four different environmental and cultural preservation groups were among those they raised when they were meeting with the negotiating panel for the CNMI Joint Military Training activities.

The Tinian Women’s Association, Guardians of Gani, PaganWatch, and Center for Biological Diversity have sued the U.S. Department of Defense and Secretary Ashton Carter and the U.S. Department of the Navy and Secretary Ray Mabus.

The lawsuit is for violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and Administrative Procedure Act for failing to consider relocation to Guam and associated live-fire training in a Single Environmental Impact Statement, and failure to consider alternatives.

“Some of the allegations made in the complaint track the concerns this administration has raised over the past several years,” said Torres, who just came back from representing the CNMI in last week’s Republican National Convention, after his office got a copy of the complaint.

Torres said this is one of the topics for discussion in the ongoing Section 902 consultations between the CNMI and the U.S. governments.

“There is the question of whether the live-fire training proposed under the Guam Relocation and CJMT projects are consistent with the Covenant between the United States and the CNMI,” Torres said.

Addressing the cumulative effects of various ongoing and proposed DoD activities in the CNMI—including CJMT, divert airfield, GRP, and the Mariana Islands Training and Testing Project—is another of their concerns.

“We are in general agreement with the portions of the complaint alleging that these cumulative effects have never been properly disclosed, studied, or mitigated. In fact, we raised this very concern in its comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Study,” added Torres.

Torres said the proposals share a common geography and timing, as it would make an impact in the CNMI’s economic and environmental resources. It also appears that this is part of the DoD’s development plan.

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Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez has been covering local and international sports events for more than 15 years. His sports writing career started when he joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, when he was in college.

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  • captain

    Funny, after the fact when private Cit. groups finally take action due to the NMI Govt. ‘inaction’ now this incompetent Gov. comes out and states he has expressed the same concerns.

    So where was/is his comments on the illegal $400k funding (loan?) for MV Luta that to general knowledge, has never been paid or even attempted to be paid back, thus another Cit. lawsuit.

  • Tinalakattne Yantitiyas

    I am glad that other groups are active and taking on US Mil. Leaving it to “Wonder Boy and Company” would be disastrous. A way to keep them honest as they seem to be exhibiting “selective hearing/actions” on things.

    What is going one with MV LUTA? They so hush-hush about it. Folks, I understand that “they” may be family or you are receiving some sort of kick-back. But, how would it be if the roles was reversed and it is you sitting on the “not-so-good” end?

    Its time to stop all this mess and account for “our monies, land, behavior and so on”… Biba Marianas!

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