Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

New Weather Service Buildings to be Build in Pohnpei

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): August 25, 2010 - A one year Lease Agreement, automatically renewable for a maximum period of twenty years, was signed on August 20, 2010, between the FSM State of Pohnpei and the United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on behalf the National Weather Service, Pacific Region. This lease authorizes the NOAA to build, operate and maintain a U.S. National Weather Service Office on the three parcels of land located in Kolonia Town, which it currently occupies.

As a result of this Agreement, the State of Pohnpei agrees to make available the land to NOAA at no cost. The NOAA plans on building two new structures, removing the old ones as they build the new ones. One of the new buildings will function as the office and operations center and the other will be a new upper air inflation building. The latter allows for atmospheric soundings and weather balloon launches to gather data; the weather service personnel can then use the collected data to create a "snapshot" of the current state of the atmosphere.

In exchange for the lease, NOAA will make available to the State of Pohnpei, without compensation, the services and related programs of the U.S. National Weather Service. Such services include supporting the FSM National Weather Service; and providing equipment, training and maintenance support for the FSM personnel. The Weather Service Office in Pohnpei currently employs 12 people and no change is expected as a result of the new construction.

The Agreement was officially executed by John Ehsa, Governor of Pohnpei, and Ralph "Jeff" Ladouce, Director of the U.S. National Weather Service Office Pacific Region; witnessed by Eden Skilling, and Robert MacCallum, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in FSM. At the end of the 20-Year term of the Agreement, NOAA will have the option to request a succeeding lease agreement of up to another 20 year period.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356