HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Feb. 5) - Attorneys will square off in Guam Supreme Court tomorrow over a controversial incinerator contract, possibly drawing to a close a near three-year legal fight that has delayed the closure of the Ordot dump.

The lawsuit, filed by parties including Speaker Ben Pangelinan, D-Barrigada, challenges a contract signed by Gov. Carl Gutierrez's administration with Guam Resource Recovery Partners to build a waste-to-energy incinerator for the island. That 1996 GRRP contract also allows the company to build a new Guam landfill

Pangelinan, who opposed the contract because he believes it failed to follow the proper procurement process, lost the case in Superior Court, but appealed that decision. Tomorrow, oral arguments will be heard in Supreme Court. A decision could come in a few months.

"Once we resolve this issue, all the impediments to closing Ordot and opening a new landfill will be removed," said Pangelinan.

If Pangelinan loses, the government will need to resolve the contract, with options including going through with it or buying it out.

GRRP attorney Arthur Clark declined to comment this week on the outcome of the case, but also said the court's decision should finally resolve the issue.

Settlement talks over a federal lawsuit calling for the closure of the dump continue today. Attorney General Douglas Moylan said those talks are partly dependent on resolution of the GRRP contract issue.

February 5, 2003

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