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EPA fines Guam Waterworks Authority $39,000 for failure to meet federal court order to improve its drinking water system

Release Date: 01/14/2008
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(01/14/08) HONOLULU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today fined the Guam Waterworks Authority $39,000 for failing to fully comply with a 2003 court order to make improvements to its drinking water system.

GWA was fined $30,000 for failing to meet a November 2007 deadline for completing installation of new drinking water meters for its customers. The utility is just over 50 percent complete with the project and will be done by January 2009.

The utility was also fined $9,000 for not meeting an early January deadline to complete a full renovation of the Ugum drinking water treatment plant.

“Although GWA continues to make steady progress toward meeting requirements of the court order, missed deadlines delay necessary improvements to its system and service to the residents,” said Alexis Strauss, water division director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Completing installation of new water meters and renovation of the drinking water plant will lead toward better management of its drinking water system and sustained compliance with drinking water requirements.”

The Ugum water treatment plant work is estimated to take another 17 months for design and construction. In early 2006, GWA completed some emergency, temporary repair work to address pressing operational and treatment system issues at Ugum. However, full renovation is needed to ensure the plant’s long term reliability and compliance with drinking water requirements.

The stipulated order requires penalties to be assessed for the missed deadlines and provides for additional penalties until the work is complete.

Guam’s water system is being upgraded and improved upon to ensure the proper management, treatment and delivery of safe drinking water.

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