Pacific Daily News

HAGATNA, Guam (Dec. 21) - It's an established fact that the Ordot dump is an environmental mess that needs to be closed and replaced by a modern sanitary landfill.

The dump was slated for closure as early as 1985, and since then there have been several plans for closing the dump. None of them were completed. This resulted in a consent decree between the federal government and GovGuam, which required that the Ordot dump finally be closed and a new landfill be opened by 2007.

But for some reason, a majority of the 27th Guam Legislature seem to be doing all it can to further delay the current process of closing the Ordot dump and opening a new landfill.

On Monday, senators passed Bill 240, which would prohibit the new landfill from being built at the Lonfit, Sabanan Batea or Dandan sites. But those three sites are the three options for GovGuam, chosen by environmental professionals. The government is supposed to make a final selection from among the three locations sometime within the next month.

GovGuam has already missed a December 7 federal deadline built into the consent decree, which is resulting in daily fines being racked up. And now senators want to delay the selection of a landfill site even longer?

This is ridiculous.

The government of Guam simply can't afford to accrue more fines, and this community has already waited for almost 20 years for the Ordot dump to be shut down. It's wrong to ask our entire community to put up with any further delay.

While we understand that no one wants a landfill in their immediate area, the landfill has to go somewhere. That "somewhere" must be the area that makes the best sense for our community, from both a practical and environmental perspective. It must be selected by experts and professionals in the field, not legislators seeking votes. Even if those three sites were eliminated, what's to stop senators from barring a landfill at the next three potential locations, or the next three after that?

Gov. Felix Camacho needs to veto this flawed bill, for the good of the entire community of Guam.

December 22, 2004

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

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