With over a hundred wells on the island, 34 have tested positive for PFAS, also known as the forever chemical and is commonly linked to serious health defects and exceeds the safe drinking water standards. 

Three other wells have also tested high levels of the neurotoxin dieldrin.

Senator Sabina Perez highlighted the alarming issue during discussion of her Bill 274, which would help fund treatment systems to address the contaminants and come into compliance with the Clean Water Act, part of the Guam Waterworks Authority’s five year capital improvement program. 

More specifically, the legislation would authorize the creation of a commercial paper program, allowing GWA to fund projects as needed. 

Perez said this would lessen upfront costs and interest payments and lower the cumulative increase for ratepayers. 

GWA General Manager Miguel Bordallo said more about how much the bill could save consumers.

“We anticipated that we would need rate increases of a total of 71.5% over those five years. If we have the short-term financing option and authorization, then we can significantly reduce the rate increases that would be required by utilizing commercial paper for the first three years and doing a single take-out bond in fiscal year 28, as opposed to having to do two bonds, one in 25 and one in 27, and that reduce the total of rate increases that we would need to support that type of financing program to a cumulative total of 50% over that five year period,” said Bordallo.

Meantime, a motion was passed to move the bill to the third reading file from the committee of the whole. 

For the full bill, you can view it below.