U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has denied the four environmental and preservation groups’ motion for the court to enforce its February 2018 order that compels the U.S. Department of Navy and the U.S. Department of Defense to add four documents to the record in their lawsuit.
Manglona denied the motion to enforce without prejudice, saying she reviewed the groups’ motion and authority therein, and considered how this case has proceeded, including the matters discussed at the Feb. 23, 2018 status conference.
Denial without prejudice means the judge did not give the groups’ request for relief, but allowed them to re-file the motion at a later time.
The groups—the Tinian Women Association, Guardians of Gani, PaganWatch, and the Center for Biological Diversity—are suing the U.S. Navy, Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer, Defense, and Defense Secretary James Mattis over the Navy’s decision to relocate 5,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam and to conduct live-training on Tinian and Pagan.
The groups are suing the defendants for alleged violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and Administrative Procedure Act.
The groups claim that Navy and DOD violated NEPA and APA by failing to consider the relocation efforts and potential construction of live-fire training ranges on Tinian and Pagan as “connected actions” in a single environmental impact statement.
In their motion to enforce, the groups have asked the court to enforce its February 2018 order that compels the Navy and Defense to add four documents to the record in their lawsuit over the Navy’s decision to relocate 5,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam and to conduct live-training on Tinian and Pagan.
In their motion to enforce filed last Friday, the groups, through David L. Henkin of Earthjustice, and Kimberlyn K. King-Hinds, asked the court to order the Navy and DOD to begin the process of identifying, compiling, and reviewing the documents the court identified in its Feb. 12 order as needed to complete the administrative record in this case.
In her Feb. 12 order, Manglona ordered the Navy, Spencer, Defense, and Mattis to compete the administrative record within 30 days.
The four documents refer to the final training needs assessment dated April 2012 and revised in March 2013; final CNMI Joint Military Training Requirements and Siting Study dated January 2013 and revised March 2013; March 14, 2013, Federal Register notice announcing the Navy’s intent to prepare the CNMI Joint Military Training; and the draft CNMI Joint Military Training EIS/overseas EIS dated April 2015.