Contract proposes government give land, pay for landfill - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Contract proposes government give land, pay for landfill

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - While a draft waste-to-energy contract has been forwarded to lawmakers, there are concerns about the proposal.

As it stands today, solid waste incineration on Guam is illegal, as Guam Economic Development Authority legal counsel Tom Fisher said, "So the contract as it exists today nobody would sign it, it's illegal. It's before the legislature right now and the Legislature would have to change the law if this thing is to move forward at all." He says that's why the ball is in the legislature's court.  Not only would lawmakers be required to legalize incineration but they would have to approve the waste-to-energy contract that has been negotiated between Guam Resource Recovery Partners and the Government of Guam. The partial settlement is a result of court ordered mediation but the government isn't necessarily in agreement with every provision of the proposed contract.  

And neither are some Santa Rita landowners like Ken Leon Guerrero, who finds it interesting that although GRRP indicated that chevron would be its funding partner, Chevron is not mentioned in any of the documents. In fact, he says based on his review of the contract, GRRP may give up its plans to build a landfill in Atantano altogether and instead, says Fisher, "They are requiring the government to give land and infrastructure at no cost, they are requiring the government to issue the bonds to pay for it, well when you take all those things under consideration why doesn't the government just do it under the solid waste management agency and cut out the middle man and save the people of Guam millions of dollars a year."

Fisher didn't disagree with Leon Guerrero's reading of the proposed contract, as he said, "There are provisions in there that are much like Mr. Leon Guerrero is saying (but it isn't necessarily what the government wanted it was just what was in there) it's not necessarily what the government wanted and I just have to emphasize is that's the reason this has gone to the legislature because it's a matter of vital islandwide importance and the legislature's voice has to be heard in this."

And while the parties wait for the Guam Legislature's next move, GRRP attorney Anita Arriola provided the court with a brief update during a status hearing today. "The parties are continuing to diligently fulfill the obligations and their duties under the settlement agreement and ask the court for a few more months to finish those steps," he added.

Due to an existing confidentiality agreement, the parties are not at liberty to discuss the other obligations and duties.  The court will hold a further proceedings hearing on August 4.  

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