US Army Corps asks for faster review of local projects
Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has petitioned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer for the federal agency’s assistance on the development of a “standard or generic design for seawalls” for American Samoa.
Lolo’s petition was made during a recently meeting in Honolulu with Lt. Col. Thomas D. Asbery, Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers- Honolulu District, which has jurisdiction over American Samoa. The meeting and petition was cited in a Mar. 3 letter from the governor thanking Asbery for making time for the meeting, requested by the governor, to discuss several issues pertaining to the required Army Corps permit for local projects.
Lolo thanked Asbery for the “commitment to help us expedite the review of projects which impact our efforts to advance our economic development programs” including the Ta’u Wharf Project and the Tri Marine International Dock project.
The governor also mentions petitioning Asbery's "assistance on the development of a standard or generic design for seawalls to preempt the continued erosion of our public thoroughfare.”
“Given our remoteness from the economic mainstream, innovative strategies need to be formulated,” Lolo wrote. “It is my vision to use local residents to construct seawalls throughout the island under the supervision of experts. It is my hope that the standard approved seawall design will preclude the ascertainment of permits which often times delay project implementation.”
“I don’t know if this is compliant with Army Corps of Engineers requirements, but it will assist me greatly if this process was possible to forge economic stimulation through the creation of jobs and reciprocal consumption expansion,” he said.
Lolo says he looks forward to seeing Asbery in American Samoa soon and is thankful the Army Corps commander is “taking time to thoroughly familiarize yourself with our local environment, which will be of great benefit to us when we present projects for your review and approval.”
“I know that you will do great things during your leadership reign of the organization that influences the quality of lives of Americans living in American Samoa,” said Lolo, who according to his letter, was “highly honored” to see his picture displayed on the wall in the entry way of the Army Corps Honolulu office.
Meanwhile, the governor’s office plans to provide a complete report on the Army Corps meeting when Lolo returns to the territory later this week.
The Senate is also working on a resolution calling on the Army Corps for assistance in expediting approving of permits for local projects.
Manu’a Sen. Nua T. Saoluaga revealed in a Senate committee hearing last month that the Ta’u Wharf Project was granted federal funding approval about 10 years ago, but nothing has been done because some issues still need to be addressed with the US Army Corps.
Tri Marine, which is building a new cannery in Atu’u, under its subsidiary Samoa Tuna Processor Inc., is still awaiting approval of the US Army Corps permit to install a new seawall, which also includes some fill to provide space for the installation of a new fishmeal plant. Cannery officials have been saying since last year they cannot move forward with their new project until this permit is approved.
Another local project awaiting Army Corps permit approval is the seawall project for Nu’uuli-tai that was dedicated last year.
THE NEW COMMENTS PROCESS
To make comments, you will need to register. You can register under your real name or use a 'screen' name. This way, people will be able to follow comments and make comments back and forth to each other. If you choose to use a 'screen name' no one will know your true identity. In either case, no email addresses will be available to anyone. It is an automated process. If you have questions, email: email@example.com
You currently are not logged in, please LOGIN to post comments.