Testimony submitted about Ordot consent decree projects - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Testimony submitted about Ordot consent decree projects

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood heard testimony on various financial aspects of projects related to the Ordot consent decree, more specifically the Dededo Transfer Station proposed closure and clean up of the adjacent contaminated lot, plausible improvements to the Inarajan Wastewater Treatment Facility, Ordot Dump post-closure costs, and Dero Road upgrades.

During Wednesday's hearing Guam Environmental Protection Agency administrator Eric Palacios testified about the importance of the closure of the Dededo Transfer Station as it relates to the cleanup of the adjacent lot identified to be contaminated with PCBs. He cited his reasons for sending a letter to Governor Eddie Calvo notifying him of his intent to move forward with the closure.

Stating that closing the Dededo Transfer Station would allow for the safe and proper cleanup of the contaminated site. He also stated that with the opening of the new Harmon Residential Transfer Station the Dededo Transfer Station would not serve its intended purpose given the proximity of the new facility.  US Attorneys however argued that the process would take too long by combining the clean up and closure of the transfer station and possibly not even getting done. Palacios contended that it would offer savings if done all at once, adding that GEPA would make it a first priority and he is committed to getting the job done in the shortest amount of time.  

Meanwhile the Ordot Dump post-closure costs are estimated to be $14.9 million up front. In court GovGuam legal counsel Rawlen Mantanona requested that payments be made on an annual basis instead stating that there would be more sufficient funds available to pay annually. However Judge Gatewood stressed the concern of US Attorneys that there would not be any funds, stating they "don't want it to fall apart once transferred" as you may recall there are only 11 months until the Guam Solid Waste Authority will take over.

Finally, Judge Gatewood reviewed the proposed upgrades to Dero Road. Two plans were submitted by the federal receiver to address the road one costing $8 million and the second $1.2 million. However GovGuam rejected both plans. Instead Mantanona requested that it be taken out of the consent decree and instead allow Public Works to handle it in house. GovGuam intends to do patchwork remediation from the Ordot Dump entrance to the GWA pump station placing an overlay only on the lanes which were affected. This idea was contested by US Assistant Attorney Mikel Schwab who stressed the first plan was "the right way to do things" and the second plan was "the patchwork job" as for GovGuam's plan it is "not the right way to do it."   

Discussions continue in court Thursday morning. 
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