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EPA fines Guam Department of Public Works for failure to comply with consent decree

Release Date: 1/5/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi (808) 541-2711

Department missed deadline to identify new landfill site

HONOLULU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today fined the Guam Department of Public Works $7,250 for missing the required deadline to identify a site for the island's new municipal solid waste landfill.

The Dec. 7 deadline is part of the consent decree ordering the construction of a new landfill and the closing of the Ordot Dump. While the department and Guam EPA have taken steps toward assessing landfill locations, the evaluations and associated public participation requirements have yet to be completed.

"The consent decree establishes milestones leading to the closure of the Ordot Dump," said Alexis Strauss, the EPA's director for water programs in the Pacific Southwest region. "Guam will not be able to close the dump without planning and constructing a new landfill first. It is critical for Guam to stay on course and decide where to site the new landfill."

The February 2004 consent decree sought to address the public health and environmental issues associated with the over-capacity, out-of-compliance dump. The Ordot Dump has a long history of illegal leachate discharges into the Lonfit River, fires, and public complaints about odors, rats, and mosquitoes.

The consent decree also includes deadlines for designing the closure of Ordot and developing a financial plan to pay for the improvements.

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