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Another senator attacks EPA administrator

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - Another senator has joined in the ongoing criticism of the Guam Environmental Protection Agency and its administrator, Lorilee Crisostomo.  A matter of last resort - one policymaker has taken his concerns to court.

Crisostomo continues to come under fire - this time from Senator Tom Ada, who filed a writ mandate in the Superior Court of Guam today against the agency and its administrator.  Ada says he was forced to take the measure in order to obtain a copy of an energy disaster preparedness plan developed using federal grants.  "I've made three requests to the administrator May 4, May 27 and June 4," he said.

Ada says on June 4 he submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act, adding, "And nothing haven't even as much as gotten any kind of communications asking for an extension or communications explaining maybe why they wouldn't provide the document."

Ada says the document is important to him as the chairperson of the Legislative Committee on Utilities, Transportation and Public Works, which all have activities that he points out are dependent on fuel and energy sources.  His fellow senator, Rory Respicio, meanwhile has filed a complaint against Crisostomo as well, not in court but with the Governor's Office.

Respicio sent Governor Felix Camacho a letter outlining many of the - in his view - shortcomings of the Guam EPA head.  In it, he claims the agency has become increasingly dysfunctional as a direct consequence of Crisostomo's management style. He concludes that the time has come for Crisostomo to be removed from her position.

However, Camacho has made it clear that a decision to be left to the board of Guam EPA.  "I'm sure this is a matter the board had considered and continues to review, as there has been a number of days she is in news not just locally but in Region IX that are of grave concern," he said.

Whether or not Respicio will get what he's asking for remains to be seen.  Governor's deputy chief of staff Shawn Gumataotao couldn't confirm that the governor had reviewed Respicio's latest letter.

As for Ada, he hopes to find what he is asking for with assistance from the courts. "Be that as it may I still want the documents and I think it could be very relevant to this committee;s concerns," he said.

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