WASHINGTON, D.C.—Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) discussed yesterday the importance of the National Environmental Policy Act process during a hearing of the House Committee on Natural Resources. The Council on Environmental Quality has proposed new draft guidance for federal agencies and department to consider the impact of greenhouse gases and climate change during the NEPA process.
Bordallo spoke in favor of the new draft guidelines and discussed the importance of the NEPA process for federal actions. She highlighted the role the NEPA process played to ensure that our community’s concerns were considered and addressed in the original EIS for the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam back in 2010.
“Pacific islands face very real threats of rising sea levels, ocean acidification, intensifying storm seasons, and invasive species as a result of climate change,” said Bordallo. “While the NEPA process is not perfect, it has been an important tool for many of our communities to weigh in and voice concerns about federal agencies’ actions that could have impacts on our environment. I appreciate that the administration is drafting guidance for considering the impacts of greenhouse gases and climate change within the NEPA process, and I think that it is wise to encourage federal agencies and departments to consider the potential impacts of climate change. It doesn’t make sense to build a pier that doesn’t take rising sea levels into consideration as it would undermine that important investment.”
“In Guam, the NEPA process allowed local stakeholders to voice their concerns about the impact of the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam. Because of the NEPA process, the people of Guam were able to influence agency decisions regarding the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam. The Department of Defense heard the concerns about the amount of additional land needed and worked diligently to find a new location, on DoD property, for the live-fire training range. I appreciate and support the efforts of the administration to further improve and refine the NEPA process with this draft guidance on greenhouse gases and climate change. The NEPA process is critical to ensuring that the concerns of local communities are heard and incorporated into federal agency decision making processes as it was on Guam.” (Office of the Delegate)