Both plaintiffs and defendants have agreed to extend the deadline for the response by defendants in the lawsuit filed to save Pagat from becoming a firing range complex.

The parties filed a stipulation in the Hawaii federal court asking the court to allow the defendants 14 extra days to respond to the complaint.

The original deadline was Jan. 31, and if the court approves the request, the new deadline will be Feb. 14.

The plaintiffs, Guam Preservation Trust, We Are Guahan, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation did not oppose the defendants’ request to postpone the date for defendants to file an answer or other responsive pleading to the complaint.

Plaintiffs filed the complaint on Nov. 17, 2010 in the Hawaii federal court seeking to keep the military from turning the ancient village of Pagat into a series of five firing ranges for the United States Marines’ relocation to Guam from Okinawa.

Plaintiffs contend that the defendants which include the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy did not follow the proper National Environmental Policy Act process in evaluating and considering alternative sites for the firing ranges while drafting the Environmental Impact Statement for the relocation.

The entire list of defendants include, Rear Admiral Katherine Gregory, Commanding Officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Command for the Pacific; Kyle Fujimoto, NAVFAC Pacific; David Bice, Executive Director of the Joint Guam Program Office; Jacqueline Pfannenstiel, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment; and Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy.

Also named as defendants are the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, and the Joint Guam Program Office.

The draft EIS was mostly written and prepared in Hawaii, and that is why the lawsuit was filed in that venue.  

The presiding judge is David Alan Ezra and the referral judge is listed as Leslie E. Kobayashi.

The original date for the first hearing in court was scheduled for Feb. 14, but it is likely that this will be rescheduled if the judge approves the request to postpone the defendants’ response.

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