Failure to Meet Court Order Results in $40,000 Fine for Guam Waterworks Authority

EPA fined the Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) $40,000 for failing to fully comply with a 2003 court order to repair and improve its wastewater system, the agency announced on Sept. 4.

GWA failed to meet April and June 2007 deadlines for the Agana sewage treatment plant and a May 2007 deadline for the northern district plant to ensure compliance with federal permit limits from these two facilities.

"GWA needs to comply with the order to determine the proper level of wastewater treatment it needs to meet its federal permits," said Alexis Strauss, EPA Region 9 director for water programs. "This step and renovating the pump stations will go a long way to ensuring properly treated wastewater for Guam."

In May, GWA informed the EPA the compliance determination for Agana would be completed in February 2008 and the northern district in July 2008, over a year after the court-ordered deadlines requiring GWA to demonstrate that these renovated facilities can comply with their federal permit limits. GWA recently completed a full renovation of its Agana sewage treatment plant and a partial renovation of its northern district sewage treatment plant.

GWA also needed to complete renovations at the Agana main sewer pump station by June 2007 but informed the EPA that work was delayed and the scheduled completion date would be over a year past the deadline in September 2008.

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

Guam's wastewater treatment system is being upgraded to ensure proper disposal of treated wastewater and to prevent any spills and overflows, EPA officials said.

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