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    Sunday, December 17, 2017-9:12:02P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Marines to start field surveys on Tinian, Pagan this month

THE U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, or MARFORPAC, is preparing an environmental impact statement to assess the existing conditions and potential effects of locating range and training areas on Tinian and Pagan.

Craig B. Whelden, U.S. MARFORPAC executive director, said in order to perform the analysis in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, it is essential that field crews have unobstructed access to Tinian and Pagan to perform these surveys and studies.

He requested of the Department of Public Lands a permit for a temporary right of access to Pagan for the Department of Defense and its agents.

“Temporary access will be for the sole purpose of performing necessary studies and data collection to support the…[ environmental impact statement] development,” Whelden said in his letter to CNMI officials on June 3.

He said the field effort will not require the building of permanent structures or disturbance to the land.

From June 20 to 27, they will conduct terrestrial field studies on Tinian in the exclusive military area.

From June 19 to 26, technical surveys will be conducted in the Tinian military leaseback area, the exclusive military area, the Tinian International Airport and at the International Broadcasting Bureau/Voice of America.

MARFORPAC is asking permission from the Commonwealth Ports Authority to gain temporary access to the Tinian International Airport and the International Broadcasting Bureau.

From July 5 to 18, MARFORPAC will conduct cultural field studies and marine field studies on Pagan where the survey areas include beaches and off-shore areas.

Sherri Eng of the Defense Policy Review Initiative-MARFORPAC informed Gov. Eloy S. Inos that the field work supports the CNMI Joint Military Training Environmental Impact Statement which MARFORPAC is conducting.