by Krystal Paco
Guam - Illegal dumpers, be warned: you could soon be starring in footage taken by one regulatory agency's attempts to decrease such illegal acts on island. If a picture says a thousand words, the Guam Environmental Protection Agency will soon be citing more residents for illegal environmental acts throughout the island.
"It's our hope to catch as many of these illegal dumpers as possible and this is one tool that will definitely help us achieve that goal with it, we're hoping that It will also be admissible in court should it get to that point," said administrator Eric Palacios. "And this is in conjunction with the recent citation training that the agency went through with GPD."
Thanks to high-definition surveillance cameras, he says the regulatory agency now has additional eyes at sites often left littered with trash. "It's absolutely critical because it will show and because they're high definition cameras, it will show with great clarity who these violators are. It'll be able to pick up license plate numbers, and it's all unequivocal evidence that will be submitted to the court when we start moving to prosecute people who dump illegally."
Not only an eyesore, Palacios says trash threatens our island's tourism industry and our population's health. "Dumping is becoming very rampant throughout the island. It's a big concern of ours because it affects everybody's livelihood," he said.
The cameras are funded through the recycling revolving fund, or the $25 fee every resident pays when they register their vehicle at the Department of Revenue & Taxation. "We want to show them that the money they pay into the system is really being put into good use. We will be ordering more and eventually our goal is to saturate as many locations as possible with these cameras," said Palacios.
Meanwhile, Palacios reminds the community that reporting illegal activity is everyone's responsibility. "I encourage the community to please continue to report violations of illegal dumping and any other illegal environmental activity to the agency by calling the agency," he said.