Final environmental closure for Ordot Dump - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Final environmental closure for Ordot Dump

Posted: Updated:

It's been 66 years since the Government of Guam took over operations of the Ordot Dump. Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood presided over a court hearing at the site to mark its final environmental closure.

Perhaps it was only fitting that bursts of rain punctuated the closure ceremony.  It is contaminated leachate brought by the rains to the nearby Lonfit River that sparked the long road to Ordot's shutdown.  The USEPA found violations of the Clean Water Act, and the federal courts stepped in to force GovGuam to literally clean up its act.

US Justice Department attorney Robert Mullaney said, "The Ordot Dump was a big sponge. And for decades it collected the water that we're seeing right now, and that water came through the dump and it leached out the poisons in that dump, and left them in your river. You do not do that. You don't poison your own drinking water, you don't poison your own rivers."

Years of inaction by GovGuam went by before the federal court appointed a receiver to finally close Ordot and oversee Guam's solid waste system. But what they found, says Chief Judge Gatewood, was a division in complete disarray. For example, she noted, "Solid waste was spending up to $11,000 a day renting equipment and operators for the equipment while the equipment owned by solid waste remained broken and the employees idle. So that means $11,000 a day found in 2008, the year that I appointed the federal receiver, that means $4,000,015,000 was spent on nothing."

Eight years later, by all accounts trash collection is much better. The Layon Landfill has replaced Ordot, and a representative for the receiver had nothing but praise for the employees. So now GovGuam says its ready to run the solid waste system again.  Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson said, "And it was an issue of money, it wasn't an issue of we didn't want to do it. The Guam Legislature enacted the board of the Guam Solid Waste Authority. And enacted an authority, because ladies and gentlemen this is never going to go back to 25 years ago"

A hearing on the transition is set for Tuesday. 

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • THINK PINK DAY at KUAM

    THINK PINK DAY at KUAM

    Today, the stations of KUAM will celebrate our  annual Think Pink Day in commemoration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

    More >>

    Today, the stations of KUAM will celebrate our  annual Think Pink Day in commemoration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

    More >>
  • DOE schools in session, storm will pass SE of Guam today

    DOE schools in session, storm will pass SE of Guam today

    Tropical Depression 27W is now a Tropical Storm. Guam and Rota  remain under a Tropical Storm Watch. It is tracking to pass southwest of Guam sometime today.  Maximum sustained winds are at 45mph.  Guam remains under a Small Craft and High Surf Advisory.  Storm shelters are now open at the Yigo Gym, Agana Heights Gym, and Talofofo Gym. Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez announced via twitter that there WILL BE classes today for public schools.More >>
    Tropical Depression 27W is now a Tropical Storm. Guam and Rota  remain under a Tropical Storm Watch. It is tracking to pass southwest of Guam sometime today.  Maximum sustained winds are at 45mph.  Guam remains under a Small Craft and High Surf Advisory.  Storm shelters are now open at the Yigo Gym, Agana Heights Gym, and Talofofo Gym. Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez announced via twitter that there WILL BE classes today for public schools.More >>
  • Guam in COR4, but storm shelters opening at 11pm

    Guam in COR4, but storm shelters opening at 11pm

    Although Guam remains in Condition of Readiness 4, GovGuam will be opening emergency shelters for those who might need them beginning at 11 o'clock tonight.  The shelters are located at the Yigo Gym, Agana Heights Gym and Talofofo Gym.

    More >>

    Although Guam remains in Condition of Readiness 4, GovGuam will be opening emergency shelters for those who might need them beginning at 11 o'clock tonight.  The shelters are located at the Yigo Gym, Agana Heights Gym and Talofofo Gym.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly