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EPA assists Guam EPA in removing old hazardous chemicals

Release Date: 2/11/2004
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

HONOLULU--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently assisted the Guam Environmental Protection Agency with removing and disposing of old stored chemicals temporarily located at the Guam EPA office that posed a hazard to the environment.

The Guam EPA requested assistance from the U.S. EPA to remove 6,525 pounds of chemicals, such as wastes and solutions, that were outdated or unused. A few of the original containers from many of the chemicals were deteriorating. The chemicals were accumulated over the years from local high schools and a closed Guam EPA laboratory.

"Many of the containers were rusted and in very poor condition," said Christopher Weden, the EPA's on-scene coordinator for the removal. "The removal was necessary because the chemicals were no longer usable and eventually would begin to leak and cause a larger environmental and public health problem."

Weden supervised the packing and temporary storage of the chemicals until they could be shipped with other wastes from Guam and CNMI to proper hazardous waste facilities in Utah and Oregon. The EPA's Superfund program paid for the removal, with a total estimated cost of $125,320. The waste arrived at the disposal facilities last month.

"The Guam EPA can always ask the EPA for assistance in situations that may need specialized help or technical expertise," said John McCarroll, manager of EPA Pacific Southwest Region's Pacific Islands Office.

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