New Santa Rita landfill one step closer - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

New Santa Rita landfill one step closer

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - The Guam Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public hearing this evening down in Santa Rita as Guam Resource Recovery Partners is just one step away from obtaining a permit to build a landfill.

They've been fighting the idea for years, but Santa Rita residents actually may have a landfill in their backyard as GRRP is on the last leg of its efforts to obtain a final permit for a landfill at Atantano, also known as Guatali. Although Santa Rita mayor Dale Alvarez believes the newly opened Layon landfill could use additional help to cater to the island's trash needs, he's not too pleased about the idea of a landfill in his village.

"We're growing especially with the military buildup, we do need another landfill. That's my belief, but I don't want it in my backyard," the mayor explained. "I think everyone is against it."

Alvarez says there are over 1,600 residents in the southern village, with roughly 500 living along Cross Island Road leading to the proposed landfill site. It's not just truck traffic he's worried about, but the stench - even empty garbage trucks carry an unpleasant odor. Although he knows the Guam EPA will do their part in ensuring the landfill is well maintained and monitored, Alvarez fears for the worst, including the possibility of leachate contaminating groundwater.

"My concern," he shared, "is what if it leaks?"

Alvarez believes the landfill will not only hurt the development of his village, but the depreciation of houses, especially the row of newly built homes lining the proposed site. He also worries that Santa Rita's beautiful greenery will be ruined by 22 acres of trash. "I just hope they'll reconsider," he said.

Copies of the application and permit can be viewed at the Guam EPA, the Santa Rita Mayor's Office, the University of Guam's RFK Library, the Agana Library, or below. The public has until November 18 to comment and may hand deliver or mail comments to Guam EPA's office in Tiyan.

 

 

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