Blame game ignites over Yigo fire - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Blame game ignites over Yigo fire

by Lannie Walker

Guam - For nearly two weeks an illegal dump in Yigo has spewed smoke as a fire burns deep with in the pit.  This morning local officials met to discuss the progress in capping the fire.

Civil Defense - the Government of Guam entity was put in charge of the crisis after Governor Felix Camacho declared a state of disaster emergency - says they have smothered 70% of the fire.  The cost to do so - $96,000 worth of local government funds.  The money was spent providing temporary shelter to residents, renting heaving equipment and contracting industrial hygienist consultants.

And while Civil Defense Spokesperson Lesley Leon Guerrero says the fire should be completely out with in the week, the problem should have been stamped out a long time ago, according to the Guam Environmental Protection Agency.  "That another action the landowner is going to have to answer to because you have a burning fire at an illegal pit that wasn't even supposed to be operating in the first place," said Guam EPA spokesman Gerry Cruz.

Cruz says the dump's owner, Joseph Taitano, has been cited in the past.  "He's been given notice of violation so many times cease and desist been caught allowing the dump to be used," he noted.  Cruz says a year ago Taitano was supposed to submit a remediation plan to comply with Guam EPA regulations, explaining, "The attorney general - it's in their court.  We gave them all the documents, and according to the court order the respondent is supposed to submit a remedial plan to EPA, but through the AG's Office."

When asked if the Guam EPA ever checked with the AG to make sure they received it, Cruz said, "Well, we followed up, but no response." 

He blames personnel shifts at the Attorney General's Office for the lack of enforcement, saying, "Where it's at, I'm not too sure, but on our part we submitted documents and complied with what it supposed to be done with this case."

The AG's Office maintains that it has made numerous follow-ups with the Guam EPA and Administrator Lorilee Crisostomo regarding the status of this matter and it has yet to receive any feedback from the agency.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Food for prison population requires procurement

    Food for prison population requires procurement

    The local prison needs an emergency procurement in order to continue providing food services for the inmates and detainees at DOC. DepCor extended its invitation for bid back in March, and remained in an emergency procurement with its current vendor, BasiMore >>
    The local prison needs an emergency procurement in order to continue providing food services for the inmates and detainees at DOC. DepCor extended its invitation for bid back in March, and remained in an emergency procurement with its current vendor, BasiMore >>
  • Legislature will continue with 14 senators if Cruz elected public auditor

    Legislature will continue with 14 senators if Cruz elected public auditor

    Those vying for public office now have less than 24 hours to file candidacy packets with the Guam Election Commission. Potential candidates have until 5pm tomorrow to meet the deadline, as GEC Director Maria Pangelinan said, "The law says that for the speMore >>
    Those vying for public office now have less than 24 hours to file candidacy packets with the Guam Election Commission. Potential candidates have until 5pm tomorrow to meet the deadline, as GEC Director Maria Pangelinan said, "The law says that for the speMore >>
  • Aguon crafts plan to rebuild the Home of the Sharks

    Aguon crafts plan to rebuild the Home of the Sharks

    Senator Frank Aguon Jr., who is running for governor, introduced a bill to transfer $1 million from the Governor's Office to DOE to rebuild Simon Sanchez High School. This comes after a budget hearing, where DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said there's nMore >>
    Senator Frank Aguon Jr., who is running for governor, introduced a bill to transfer $1 million from the Governor's Office to DOE to rebuild Simon Sanchez High School. This comes after a budget hearing, where DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said there's nMore >>
Powered by Frankly