GUAM FISHERMEN CAN FILE CLAIMS AGAINST NAVY FOR REVENUE LOSS OVER PCB-LADEN

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FISH

By Scott Radway

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (November 10, 2001 – Pacific Daily News)---Anglers affected by the inability to fish around Orote Point and Agat after tests found PCB-laden fish there can file a claim against the Navy for financial compensation.

"If a person can say he has been severely hurt, he can put a claim against the Navy," said Lt. Monica Richardson, local Navy spokeswoman.

In late September, the Navy announced that test results showed levels of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in the fish off the old Orote Point landfill that were far above federal safety standards for consumption.

PCBs are suspected of causing a wide variety of health problems, including cancer and neurological problems, at high levels of exposure. PCBs build up in fatty tissue and some internal organs over time.

The Navy has advised people not to eat any fish or shellfish from Orote Point down to Nimitz Beach in Agat. Officials continue to perform tests to determine the extent of the contamination.

Sen. Angel Santos, D-Barrigada, said in a press release yesterday that any person who uses these waters for subsistence or commercial fishing can file a claim.

Santos' political analyst Wil Castro said a door-to-door campaign conducted by the senator and his staff has shown that many people are not aware of the high level of contamination.

Richardson said no one filed a claim as of yesterday.

For additional reports from the Pacific Daily News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Pacific Daily News (Guam).

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