USEPA conducts review of Guam EPA - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

USEPA conducts review of Guam EPA

by Lannie Walker

Guam - The Guam Environmental Protection Agency is under scrutiny for the next week as their federal counterparts are on island. Officials from the USEPA are conducting a biannual review of the local agency, as Micheal Wolfram, Guam Program Manager from USEPA's Region IX Division, said, "We will meet with all of the managers for all of the programs, we will evaluate their programs, we will identify successes, challenges and areas where they can make improvement in the next coming year."

One challenge the local agency is facing is a workload that has increased, but a budget that has not.  "So with the military buildup you have an increase in construction a huge increase in construction which is a significant increase in work for the Guam EPA," Wolfram added.

He says the local agency has an annual budget of about $5,000,000 and they are actively working to increase that.  He added, "We have worked very closely with the Guam EPA to find out what their additional resource needs are due the military buildup and we have provided the budget to the USEPA headquarters; whether of not that will result in additional funding is another question. But we are making the case doing everything we can to help the Guam EPA."

Wolfram says one thing the Guam EPA has done to help itself is meeting critical milestones in the last year in order to be eligible to apply for a grant that could bring in and additional half-million dollars per year to the agency. Another improvement - a reduction in staff of ten percent in the last year that has helped reduce Guam EPA's bottom line.

Wolfram and his staff will be on island conducting reviews through next week.

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