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Guam water agency fined $55K for not submitting plan

Release Date: 07/11/2006
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(07/11/06) HONOLULU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today fined the Guam Waterworks Authority $55,000 for again failing to fully comply with a 2003 stipulated court order to develop a master plan for its wastewater and drinking water systems.

The $55,000 fine is a result of GWA’s inability to complete the final master plan by the date agreed to in the order.

“The master plan will become the road map, showing what GWA will need to do over the next 20 years to provide safe drinking water for its residents and provide proper wastewater disposal,” said Alexis Strauss, the EPA’s director for water programs in the Pacific Southwest region.

The master plan will be used by the utility to make immediate and long term infrastructure improvements to the island’s water systems.

“The residents of Guam will not be able to enjoy a consistent, fully-compliant utility until the infrastructure is improved,” said Strauss. “We await GWA’s complete, comprehensive plan for addressing the many drinking water and wastewater deficiencies. Only then will GWA be able to turn short-term improvements into a long-term solution.”

GWA was previously fined $20,000 in December 2005 and $35,000 in March 2006 for violations relating to the master plan. With today’s fine GWA has accrued $110,000 in penalties related to their inability to complete the master plan.

Guam’s drinking water system is currently undergoing repairs and improvements to provide a more reliable supply of water to Guam residents. The island’s wastewater treatment system is also being upgraded to ensure proper disposal of treated wastewater and to prevent any spills and overflows.

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