Guam - Fena and the new landfill, they are two issues that aren't tied together. But on session floor, Senator Ben Pangelinan used the fight for Fena as an example as to why the Consolidated Commission on Utilities should not be in charge of running the island's solid waste operations once that responsibility is returned to GovGuam by federal receiver Gershman Brickner & Bratton.
Bill 35 introduced by Senator Tom Ada proposes to create an autonomous solid waste authority to be governed by the CCU. Senator Pangelinan feels that would be a wrong move and instead offered an amendment stating members of the solid waste authority be appointed by the governor with confirmation by the legislature. Pangelinan questioning the broader implications the CCU's decision had had in the past and could have in the future.
Pangelinan said, "The fight for Fena there was already a court case in place on the fight for Fena with regards to the requirement that it be turned over the people of Guam. What CCU did if I understand correctly and my memory serves me right, there was an outstanding water bill between the Navy and GovGuam and the Navy was asking us for $9, $10, $12 million somewhere in that neighborhood from water they gave to us from Fena by the way that said we haven't paid them, so CCU decided well we don't want to pay it but you know what we'll negotiate we will sign over to dismiss the lawsuit and sign all claims against Fena if you forgive.
Senator Ada said, "Point of information, madam speaker," clarifying that it was in 2009 when discussions began between the Navy and GWA regarding an outstanding water bill. Eventually GWA agreed to pay $9 million to the Navy for water from Fena, but that was it.
Ada said, "And the Navy agreed to then allow GWA up to 10 years to pay it back at a 1% interest and that will be paid back by next year. There was another part to that where the Navy tried to get the CCU to sign that okay if you pay this off you promise you will never come back again to bring up the issue of ownership on Fena but the CCU says that's not my call my only call is to pay what's due to you for the water services that had been received. It's the AG's Office as a representative of the people to then sign on that. So we can't hang that monkey on the CCU as far as giving away the rights of Fena, let's just make that clear.
Pangelinan said, "My memory serves me different and that as part of the negotiations as part of the consent decree included the discussion of not ever bringing up Fena again. And I haven't heard them bring up Fena again. That's my point whether they signed the document or not they were asked if we do this will you never bring Fena up again. And they said what Fena."
Senator Pangelinan's amendment passed.