The Department of Defense, in a joint statement with the Government of Japan announced April 26 that they have agreed to adjustments in the 2006 Realignment Roadmap Agreement to relocate U.S. Marine Corps forces from Okinawa, Japan to Guam.
The adjustments include reducing the originally planned relocation of 8,600 Marines to a force of approximately 5,000 Marines on Guam.
As a result of the adjustments, the Department of the Navy (DoN) will be required to assess the potential environmental impacts of accommodating the reduced number of Marines on Guam, including any associated changes in basing and training requirements.
As a consequence of this substantial change to the proposed action in the Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) Military Relocation Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) issued in 2010, the ongoing Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the live]fire training range complex on Guam will be expanded to include an assessment of changes to the number and composition of Marines relocating to Guam. The assessment will include an evaluation of alternatives for the main base and family housing, as well as a new assessment of impacts to Guam's civil infrastructure.
The following components decided in the 2010 ROD should not be affected by this adjustment and will most likely not be reconsidered in the expanded SEIS:
- Training on Tinian,
- Relocation of the Marine Corps Air Combat Element (ACE), air embarkation facilities, and the development of the North Gate and access road at Andersen Air Force Base, and
- Wharf improvements and associated waterfront facilities and utility systems to support sea embarkation at Apra Harbor.
The above actions will be implemented pending Congressional approval and authorization. The expanded SEIS will not address aircraft carrier berthing in Apra Harbor.
DoN anticipates issuing a Notice of Intent (NOI) for the expanded SEIS in the fall of 2012. In the interim, DoN anticipates continuing with site assessments of potential live-fire training range complex alternatives as well as initiating initial base and family housing planning in preparation of the NOI and scoping meetings. Following the NOI, the Navy will hold public, open house scoping meetings on Guam. Specific dates and locations for these scoping meetings will be included in the NOI.