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The Grey Papers: Environment

April 14, 2010

Picture from my 2007 Guam visit

In my previous post, I shared information from the Grey Papers regarding education and tourism.  The latest Grey Papers are out and don’t have good things to say about the environmental impacts of the buildup.  As always, I’m here to relay the message.

On February 15 the Environmental Protection Agency gave the Draft Environmental Impact Statement an “environmentally unsatisfactory” grade – the lowest such score possible. Why?

  1. A potential 13.1 million gallon shortfall of drinking water per day for people living off-base in 2014.
  2. A drinking water shortfall could lead to exposure to water-borne diseases from sewage and run-off water mixing with Guam’s drinking water.
  3. No assessment has been completed on the amount of water that could safely be pumped from the aquifer and this amount remains unclear.  The Department of Defense is relying on numbers from a study done nearly 20 years ago.
  4. 85% of Guam’s drinking water comes from the aquifer, yet the DEIS does not guarantee protection of the aquifer from bacteria or toxic contaminants.
  5. The Department of Defense has not identified where it will get the $1.1 billion needed to improve the water and wastewater systems needed to handle the buildup.
  6. The demand created by the buildup will undoubtedly increase the number of raw sewage spillage incidents and the risk of getting sick from the contamination of drinking water and ocean.
  7. Unprecedented negative impacts on over 71 acres of Guam’s reef.
  8. Significant negative impacts on the Haputo Coral Reef Ecosystem.
  9. The DEIS did not adequately assess the impact of noise pollution on the residents of Guam.
  10. The increased traffic caused by the buildup will have significant impacts on air pollution and the health of the residents of Guam.

For those of you keeping tracking:

For the buildup: Department of Defense

Against the buildup: Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency, Guam Visitors Bureau, Be Pacific 😉

Read the EPA’s full statement here. As always, leave your comments.

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