Pacific Daily News

HAGATNA, Guam (Jan. 10) – It's past time for the government of Guam to stop dragging its feet on the decision of where to build the island's next landfill. GovGuam must make a choice and do so as quickly. The technical information required is in hand.

As of last Friday, the Department of Public Works had racked up $7,500 in daily fines from the federal Environmental Protection Agency for failing to meet a Dec. 7 deadline to identify the site of a new landfill. The deadline is a part of a consent decree between Guam and the federal government, which will result in the long overdue closure of the Ordot dump and the construction of a modern sanitary landfill.

The initial delay in meeting the deadline was due to issues of site access, Public Works officials have said. But those issues have been resolved. So what's holding things up now?

Part of the problem is that the government of Guam has scheduled even more public hearings later this month on where the new landfill should go. There are three sites identified as a possible location: Lonfit, Asan, adjacent to the current dump; Dandan, Inarajan; and Sabanan Batea in Yona. But additional public comment is meaningless at this stage; the only criteria government officials should be looking at now is which of the three sites will best serve the interests of the people of Guam.

There is no reason to further delay the choosing of a site. The longer it takes GovGuam to make a choice, the more it costs the government, and thus taxpayers. The fines as of Friday totaled $7,500, but that was with a fine of $250 a day. Effective Friday, that amount went up to $500 a day, and it will go up to $1,000 a day if a site isn't chosen by Feb. 7.

As mentioned earlier, GovGuam officials have the required technical information they need to make the decision. Further public comment won't change that. Just make a decision and let's move forward, now.

January 10, 2005

Pacific Daily News:


Rate this article: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Add new comment