GEPA public hearing on GCE planned - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GEPA public hearing on GCE planned

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - Green Clover Environmental proposal to operate in Barrigada is up for public hearing tonight at the Mangilao Community Center.

This evening the Guam Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a public hearing to give residents a chance to chime in on a proposal from Green Clover Environmental to operate a bioremediation facility in Barrigada. GEPA administrator Eric Palacios said, "So their proposing to process certain types of waste that are found in soil dirt and other earthen material - we encourage anyone out there who has an interest or would like to share their thoughts on the whole process to please come out and to air those concerns."

According to Barrigada mayor June Blas she has been inundated with concerns by residents as she says one of the contaminants that would be stored at the facility is polychlorinated biphynyl or PCB, which is known to cause cancer. "The residents had called in and said mayor what are we doing about this what is your take and that we need to stand because really the health issues now a days you know just breathing air can cause a lot of concerns and health issues and not knowing that you have cancer one day why would you have that in that area?," she said.

Although she is not against the business she is against the proposed location of the operation. "Its alarming to the residents because we feel that it should be on an M2 zone and having it on an M1 should be like industrial we do have issues already up in that area the other sanitations and we do have aquifers," she said.

The lot proposed to house the facility is on Bello Road in Barrigada and is classified as a light industrial or M1 zone. The permit application states that in addition to PCB Green Clover will be processing pesticides VOC's and metal. Green Clover further indicates that they will only receive none hazardous waste but the mayor is not so sure.  "I feel that it should be in another area such as M2 and I know that Guam has another M2 zone so they should feel that they should have it there," the mayor said.

The Barrigada mayor has submitted opposition to GEPA's intent to issue a solid waste permit to Green Clover and requests that the permit be denied. She says a petition has been circulating and was submitted back in April when first proposed. She is hopeful that Guam EPA will deny the application for permit even under a "conditional use" as she believes none of the uses for the lot intended is applicable to the uses which green clover seeks to have approved by GEPA.

We should add that the mayor further states that when it comes down to it the Guam EPA does not have the authority to approve any conditional use of the proposed lot instead the Guam Territorial Land Use Commission is the governing body.
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