Approval Of Guam Dump Closure Plan To Take Longer Than Anticipated

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cannot complete review by early 2017

By Jasmine Stole

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Nov. 11, 2016) – A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency environmental scientist said it will take more time than anticipated for the agency to approve receiver Gershman, Brickner & Bratton Inc.’s post-closure care plan for the Ordot dump.

David Manning, special principal associate with GBB, told District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood Tuesday that they are hopeful U.S. EPA will formally approve the post-closure plan in late 2016 or early 2017.

The court-ordered solid waste receivership is not scheduled to end until late 2017, and only after the task of closing the environmentally hazardous Ordot dump — one of the conditions of the receivership — has been completed.

When the chief judge asked U.S. EPA to weigh in on the status of the plan, Karen Ueno, environmental scientist, said the time frame is not reasonable.

Ueno said it is more likely that the plan could be approved around the spring or summer of 2017.

The Ordot dump facility will have to be managed and cared for in compliance with an approved plan for 30 years after the dump closure construction is finished, according to GBB’s latest status report.

The receiver stated it developed a plan in compliance with the consent decree and the federal and local requirements and it is under review by the regulatory agencies.

GBB stated in its status report that U.S. EPA's review of the plan was slowed by the procurement process of independent experts relied upon by U.S. EPA. With that procurement process complete, the receiver stated it is their hope that some progress would be made on the matter.

A qualified operator will have to be chosen to manage the post-closure care of the Ordot dump and GBB is prioritizing a request for proposals to select such an operator, GBB stated in its latest report.

The post-closure plan will be among the primary documents in the procurement package. GBB stated it expects to issue the RFP for the dump's post-closure operator in late 2016 or early 2017.

Another pending item before U.S. EPA is GBB’s proposal to use shredded tires with soil for the road leading to the Layon Landfill and for partial cover of waste. Ueno said the proposal is inconsistent with local regulations because the shredded tires would be left in the landfill, which is prohibited.

Manning said at Tuesday’s status hearing it was the first time he had heard that from U.S. EPA.

Currently, they use a mix of soil and coral to provide a roadway into the landfill and as partial cover for the waste, Manning said.

“We believe tire derived aggregate could be used instead of much of the coral that is now used, thus reducing the use of coral for these purposes without adding any volume or detrimental elements to the landfill. This would provide a cost-effective use for this material on Guam,” he said. “The landfill does not need to use tire-derived aggregate. We do, however, believe it can be used and provide an acceptable reuse of this material on Guam.”

The tire aggregate issue is not a critical one for the receiver, Manning said. The receiver will continue to explore the matter with Guam Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. EPA.

Pacific Daily News
Copyright © 2016 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

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