EPA awards over $12.1 million to Guam for environmental protection

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HONOLULU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding over $12.1 million to Guam for environmental protection work to continue its efforts to protect human health and the environment.

“EPA’s support enables Guam to advance its environmental goals,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Much of this year’s funding will go towards improvements in the wastewater system, benefitting the residents of Guam and their precious island resources.”

EPA has awarded $9.2 million in Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Funds to Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) for the design and construction of water and wastewater infrastructure. This year’s appropriation will fund repair and replacement of GWA’s wastewater collection system and the construction of wastewater pump stations in Tamuning, Chalan Pago and Talofofo districts. The projects will help reduce sanitary sewer overflows in these neighborhoods and thereby limit contamination to ground and surface water. Additionally, the funds will be used on the rehabilitation of five drinking water wells currently out of service.

Nearly $3 million will go to support the operations of the Guam Environmental Protection Agency (GEPA). The work done by the agency includes inspections, program implementation to ensure clean beaches and safe drinking water, permit writing, and enforcement.

The funding will enable GEPA to continue a host of ongoing environmental programs including:

  • Reducing non-point source pollution in the Ugum watershed, a key drinking water source for southern Guam, through education and outreach, improved land management and construction practices, and afforestation of eroded areas;
  • Protection of the Northern Guam Lens, the island’s sole-source drinking water aquifer, through permitting and enforcement programs designed to prevent contamination, maintain water quality, and ensure potable drinking water for the residents of Guam;
  • Weekly monitoring of 44 recreational beaches around the island for microbiological contamination;
  • Improvements to automate, standardize, and provide real-time access for sharing environmental data through development of the Guam Facility Registry System and improvements to Guam EPA’s geographic information system (GIS);
  • Continued development of GEPA’s Brownfields program and selection of clean-up sites;
  • Pesticide management to educate farmers on proper application techniques and eliminate illegal importation and use of unregistered pesticides;
  • Inspections Guam wide to help ensure safe underground and above ground fuel storage tanks;
  • GEPA emergency response, hazardous waste, and clean air program management.

The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) administers and enforces federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations -- home to more than 48 million people.

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