by Krystal Paco
Guam - The Guam Environmental Protection Agency recently denied an application submitted by Cyfred to install a pilot sewer system similar to septic tanks and leaching field in the sewer-less Gill-Baza Subdivision. According to Cyfred attorney Curtis Van De Veld, this pilot program is successfully used in the state of New Hampshire.
Although Cyfred filed an appeal with the board, the agency has filed back with two motions: one to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction and another for summary judgment. The Guam EPA contends that the project is not a Guam EPA matter but a Guam Land Use Commission one, because it involves enforcement of zoning laws.
Early Monday evening the board reconvened from Friday's administrative hearing where the Guam EPA presented their last witness, Maricar Quezon, a Guam EPA engineer who was part of the team who advised administrator Eric Palacios to deny Cyfred's Pilot Sewer System Program. According to Quezon's testimony, Guam law requires that residential developments of less than a half-acre be connected to the public sewer system and that Cyfred's proposal would instead connect to individual houses. If these individual systems are not properly maintained, they could potentially threaten our island's northern aquifer where we get more than 80% of our island's drinking water.
Quezon supports that there's no evidence that the proposed system has been tested or used in Guam before.
The board recessed and will reconvene on October 1.