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Dear Editor,  

Is it true that a windmill farm consisting of 10 giant windmills (each over 300 feet tall) is going to be built in the primary rain forest behind Aoloau, Leone, Asili, and Fagamalo villages and that the access road will begin in Tafeta and run through several family’s properties and plantations? 

If this is true, why hasn't a public hearing been called to explain the details and extent of this project to the many villages, land owners and others whom this project will impact and allow them to voice their concerns? 

Has the project gone through the Office of Samoan Affairs, since it will involve multiple villages and counties?

Has an environmental impact assessment been conducted to determine the effects this project will have on the forest (and wildlife) and on the surrounding and downslope areas, including groundwater aquifers, freshwater streams, coastal waters and reefs?

This project is planned in the middle of the last large piece of primary forest of Tutuila, involving 3 counties. This area is made up of multiple watersheds and the extensive excavation that this project will require on these steeply sloped lands will cause erosion and potential negative effects on a wetland and the coastal waters and reefs of much of the North and South shores of the Western end of Tutuila.

Has the potential effect of the amount of forest destruction and land excavation required for this project on the quantity and quality of our drinking water from groundwater aquifers that this area feeds been evaluated?

Has the potential damage to historic and archeological sites been assessed? This is an area rich in archeological findings. How will damage be minimized or avoided?

Is it true that a foreign company will own the windmill farm and sell electricity to American Samoa? What will be the legal agreements between the American Samoan land owners and the company who will own the wind farm? Is this land to be used as a type of collateral in any way? Is there any possibility of owners losing rights to their land? What can and cannot be done on the surrounding land? How will the wind farm affect the value of the land it is built on and neighboring land? What is the lifespan of these windmills and of the project and will the massive amounts of concrete and steel be removed by the wind farm owner when the project is done?

This is a project that will cover a large geographic area and will require extensive forest destruction and land excavation. It will have an impact on the environment, our natural resources and will affect the land of many individuals, and communities.

I feel all who will be affected, deserve to be made aware of and given a better explanation of this project and its details so that they can make informed decisions for themselves and their children concerning their land and environment.

Thank you,

Ian Gurr