No licensing leaves recycling center in limbo - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

No licensing leaves recycling center in limbo

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - The Chamorro Land Trust Commission is still not issuing commercial leases, leaving some businesses in limbo.  One island recycling center never had a lease, but has been in operation for several years - and now the Guam EPA is questioning the company's right to the land it occupies.

The Guam Environmental Protection Agency is accused of hampering more recycling projects. The Mayors Council of Guam has pointed the finger at the agency for halting a cleanup of abandoned vehicles by not allowing Bali Steel to do the work due to a notice of violation. And violations are what first brought the Guam EPA to a recycling center in Dededo - but then the Global Recycling owner Daniel Chu found he had a much bigger problem when inspectors asked him for his commercial lease.

"I said, ‘No, I don't I have authorization', if he said let's stop here if you don't have lease that surprised me," he recalled.

Chu's surprise then turned to dismay when he was told the Guam EPA would not honor that authorization to operate given to the company by Chamorro Land Trust in 2006 and signed by then-board chair Tom Elliot.  "Are you trying to kill me or are you trying to help me? If you help me I help island. The mistake I make, I adjust," said Chu.

Global Recycling moves 8,000 tons of scrap metal of Guam in 2009 alone, but now Chu says they are facing closure.

Chu says he fixed the violation but faces more red tape, unable to get a lease from CLTC because of a moratorium imposed while new rules and regulations snake their way through the legislative process.  Board director Jess Garcia told KUAM News, "If we don't allow them to continue operating until they get the authorized permit where are people going to dump their trash it's going to be out in the public, it's going to be more of a problem."

The rules and regulations approved by the CLTC's board are now being reviewed by the Governors Office, and it seems - at least for now - that Garcia's hands are tied.  "If I was to issue them something temporary the recourse of the Legislature getting involved of why we issued them an authorization when we are not supposed to be issuing authorization we'd get the AG's Office involved."

Getting the administrator of Guam EPA Lorilee Crisostomo involved has been a challenge, according to Chu, who says, "What am going to do? I'm going to fight I go to board and ask of EPA director said I never heard these things."

If Crisostomo didn't know of Chu's situation before, she does now, she and Chu sat down Friday afternoon. Chu says he was told the EPA will wait until the CLTC board meets next week to determine how long the authorization to do business given to Global Recycling is good for.

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