CNMI lawmakers say military will destroy islands

8:41 pm on 28 April 2015

Northern Marianas lawmakers say the islands of Pagan and Tinian will be destroyed if they agree to a US military report on the impact of live fire training on the islands.

They are the strongest words yet by the territory's legislators on the military's draft environmental impact statement on the plan.

Tinian and Pagan are being eyed as sites for the U.S. military to conduct live fire exercises and amphibious landing training.

Under the proposal Pagan would also be the target for so-called inert bombs.

Pagan Island

Pagan Island Photo: Supplied

Senator Arnold Palacios says the training is not really a forward military presence, but will lead to the destruction of the two islands.

House representative Angel Demapan doubts the bombs would be inert and says the islands are the only resource the CNMI has.

The two lawmakers last week attended a symposium in Hawaii, where the military's use of the Hawaiian island of Kahoolawe was used as a prime example of what could become of Pagan.

Kahoolawe was a US Navy bombing range that has since gained notoriety as "the most bombed island in the Pacific."

CNMI Legislature

CNMI Legislature Photo: Supplied

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