Illegal piggery stinking up Mangilao
by Krystal Paco
Guam - Residents in Mangilao are making a stink about a foul odor coming from one neighbor's pig farm.
For the Department of Public Health, it was right under their noses.
Across the street, just behind the Mangilao Payless Supermarkets, Public Health director James Gillan tells KUAM one resident hasn't been a good neighbor.
"It's obvious there's standing water, there's pigs there we don't know where the wastewater is flowing where it's going obviously there's an aroma that's unpleasant - we're investigating whether or not the property is zoned for that," he said.
And it's not looking good for the Mangilao resident who appears to be breaking Guam law which states pigs, horses, cattle sheep, goats and carabao can only be possessed in properties zoned agricultural.
According to village mayor Nito Blas, with many homes nearby, the area he contends is obviously zoned residential.
"What I know is that you're not supposed to do farming or raise pigs or chickens or anything that will create a foul odor in a residential area even if you have stray dogs or animals, you have to tie them or fence them," he said. "I got a call from a lady at one time saying she couldn't stand the smell of the area there and want me to do something about it."
While the piggery continues to stink up neighboring homes, Gillan says there's little the agency can do but write up citations. Just yesterday a Public Health environmental specialist visited the site, but couldn't make contact with the property owner.
"We've been dealing with this gentleman since 2012 we've had complaints that far back. November 2012 was the first one we have on file. One of the problems that we have is that our regulations concerning these kinds of public health nuisances, we can't even go on the property if it's private property to issue the citation," he said.
Also on Tuesday, KUAM tried to speak with the owner who declined an interview.
From what we could see however, the man was flushing out pig pens.
According to Blas who's spoken to the owner in the past, the owner is asking the Chamorro Land Trust to give him property so he can relocate the piggery, which is also his family's main source of income.
But what's next? Gillan is hoping the Guam Environmental Protection Agency can get the ball rolling.
"Hopefully their inspection is going to allow for a little bit more muscle because they have really strong regulatory authority to the point where they can issue some pretty hefty fines 0253 that will probably get this person to do something," he said.
Guam EPA acting administrator Walter Leon Guerrero tells KUAM Guam EPA inspectors were deployed to the site late this afternoon but no updates were available as of newstime.