Solid waste receivership to end - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Solid waste receivership to end

Posted: Updated:

After more than 11 years under federal receivership, the Guam solid waste system will finally be returned to local control. Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero made the big announcement in a news conference at Adelup Wednesday.

"Today I think is a very historic day and a great day for the people of Guam," Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said. "Over the last few months I have been in court three times to argue the case that we are very prepared, we are very capable, we are very competent to take over the solid waste management program and to end the receivership."

The federal receiver was first appointed in March 2008, after what amounted to years of failure by GovGuam to correct violations of the clean water act, specifically toxic contaminants leaking from the old Ordot dump. Assistant AG Ken Orcutt has represented the government virtually since the beginning.

"The governors right, this is a big day and the receivership has been going on eleven years," he said. "But this problem that we're really dealing with goes back much further than that. To solve this problem has taken a lot of people, a lot of resources, and I think that's reflected by all the people who are here today."

He says there are still a few issues to iron out. For example, GovGuam is still on the hook for the post-closure costs of the Ordot dump, and must also fund the construction of a new cell at the Layon landfill as the existing ones are projected to reach capacity as early as next summer.

With the 11-year receivership ending, Guam Solid Waste Authority Chairman Andrew Gayle was asked to reflect back on what was sometimes a contentious relationship.

"There's going to be that criticism that this was an expensive way to do it," he said. "They have put in place a functioning municipal waste system, they have established a pathway for Guam going forward. They have met the requirements of the consent decree. We can argue all day about the cost and expense of it, it would be an interesting academic discussion, but at the end of the day this is where we are, I prefer us to look forward."

The man who will be in charge going forward is new GSWA General Manager Larry Gast.

"We're not gonna change everything right away because there's a resistance to change, it's innate in people," he said. "But we're gonna make sure we have a top notch operation."

The official, court-approved transition date is May 1.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Park restrooms must be assessed before contractors begin maintenance

    Park restrooms must be assessed before contractors begin maintenance

    Our tourists come to Guam to see the sights of Guam. Unfortunately, our park restrooms provide an unwanted smell. The Department of Parks & Recreation has recently awarded an invitation for bid contract for the maintenance of the 15 public parks controlleMore >>
    Our tourists come to Guam to see the sights of Guam. Unfortunately, our park restrooms provide an unwanted smell. The Department of Parks & Recreation has recently awarded an invitation for bid contract for the maintenance of the 15 public parks controlleMore >>
  • Man wanted in Minnesota for child porn headed stateside

    Man wanted in Minnesota for child porn headed stateside

    A man wanted in Minnesota will be transferred to the state. Today he consented to an order requiring his appearance in federal court there. Gary James Dokulil was picked up in the Philippines and was brought to Guam. It was in November of last year a fedeMore >>
    A man wanted in Minnesota will be transferred to the state. Today he consented to an order requiring his appearance in federal court there. Gary James Dokulil was picked up in the Philippines and was brought to Guam. It was in November of last year a fedeMore >>
  • Passengers held briefly after airport fuel spill

    Passengers held briefly after airport fuel spill

    Guam Environmental Protection Agency spokesperson Nic Lee said they were called to the Guam International Airport Authority this afternoon to respond to a report of an oil spill. Airport spokesperson Rolenda Faasuamalie says 20 gallons of fuel spilled neaMore >>
    Guam Environmental Protection Agency spokesperson Nic Lee said they were called to the Guam International Airport Authority this afternoon to respond to a report of an oil spill. Airport spokesperson Rolenda Faasuamalie says 20 gallons of fuel spilled neaMore >>
Powered by Frankly