AG Calls Meeting With DPW To Advise That Inspection Law for School Buses Must Be Obeyed

371

Guam – The Office of the Attorney General late Monday afternoon issued a 2 line news release stating that they intend “to discuss and require” the Department of Public Works to comply with the law concerning inspections and registrations of school  buses.

The release states:

” The Office of the Attorney General has requested to meet with DPW Officials to discuss and require their compliance with the law concerning inspections and registrations of school  buses, to include discussion of other issues that may involve the Younex Project.”

The release does not say when the meeting will be held, but Spokesman Bryan Cruz said it will happen Tuesday morning.

The release was prompted by media reports about a memorandum authorizing  School Bus drivers to operate vehicles whose safety inspections have expired.

The memorandum was issued August 9th by then Acting DPW Director Jesse Garcia. It authorized school buses to be operated without safety inspections until the end of August. DPW explained that the purpose of  postponing the inspections was to keep enough buses on the road to prevent delays in the pickup of school children and to allow enough time for all the buses to get inspected.

Read the Memorandum to School Bus Drivers

Only 40% of the buses have been inspected to date.

In an interview with PNC News last Thursday, DPW Director Andy Leon Guerrero acknowledged that some buses are operating without safety inspections, but he emphasized that all the buses are safe and every effort is being made to get the buses in for their inspections as soon as possible.

“The buses are actually safe,” said Leon Guerrero, “the only thing is now they need to go to get their safety inspections. Its just like you for instance, you own a car, you needed a safety inspection in May, you forgot, you got a safety inspection in June,  but you know your car is safe.”

DPW is operating only 80 school buses. 110 are need to accommodate the school bus schedule. Some school officials have complained about the delays in getting students pickup up.

The release also indicates that the Younex project might come up. The U.S. EPA has questioned the validity of a July 12th permit issued to Younex which authorizes the company to attach its worker housing modules to the concrete foundations that are being poured now under a permit issued in May.

DPW Director Andy Leon Guerrero has said he expects the Attorney General to require him to issue a stop work order on the project until the issue has been resolved. Leon Guerrero expected the AG to require that Monday, but he said a scheduled Monday meeting with the AG was cancelled.

U.S. EPA has asked the District Court for a hearing because they are concerned that DPW issued the permit without getting the approval of the Guam Waterworks Authority or Guam EPA. Their concern is that sewage from the workforce village will overwhelm the nearby Northern Wastewater Treatment Plant.

But on the K-57 Breakfast Show Monday the DPW Director said that CCU General Manager, and Acting DPW GM, John Benevente has assured him that GWA has no problem with the July 12th permit issued by DPW’s Jesus Ninete.  Leon Guerrero said that Benevente reviewed the permit and found nothing wrong with the work that it authorizes. He emphasised that it only allows for the assembly of the housing modules and does not authorize water or sewer hookups.