GUAM WATER AGENCY FINED BY EPA AGAIN

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By Gene Park

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Mar. 10) - The Guam Waterworks Authority has been fined for the second time this year for failing to comply with a stipulation in a federal court order.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency imposed a penalty of $11,000 on the waterworks agency as of March 8 for failing to develop an interim water disinfection program, which is required under the federal court order.

The fine will continue to accrue at $1,000 a day until the waterworks agency submits a complete interim disinfection program, wrote U.S. EPA Region IX Water Division Director Alexis Strauss on March 8.

GWA Chief Financial Officer Randy Wiegand said the interim disinfection program is a program to be placed until the $105 million water transmission line is in place.

GWA General Manager David Craddick said at a Consolidated Commission on Utilities meeting in Chalan Pago last night that his agency requested for an extension and that it was submitted on the Feb. 26 deadline.

Craddick said he will talk to federal EPA officials today to contest the fine.

The water agency also was fined $6,000 for having failed to hire a firm to perform an engineering assessment to determine why the Chaot-Marine Drive sewer collection and conveyance system doesn't work.

Oliver Wood, 59, a Chalan Pago resident who attended last night's CCU meeting, said the agency is doing all it can to comply with the court order.

"I certainly support the agency. And it's my impression that (EPA) is willing to work with them. They want to see things done, they're not just interested in fining you."

At last night's meeting, Craddick also sought approval to hire an assistant general manager for the agency.

CCU Chairman Simon Sanchez said the commission asked Craddick for a job description and details of the budget for the next CCU meeting.

Craddick said the salary for the position will be between $55,000 to $60,000.

Wiegand said with the GWA work force being cut from more than 300 to about 250 since Craddick stepped in, it is well within the agency's budget to hire another manager.

Ann Siguenza, 45, a Chalan Pago resident, said she isn't sure why there is a need for an assistant general manager.

"I thought they're having financial problems," Siguenza said. "Is it really necessary for them to hire another person?"

March 10, 2004

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

 

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