DPW’s Original “Permit To Construct” The Younex Workforce Village Is Revised

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Guam – A July 12 “permit to construct” issued by the Department of Public Works to Younex for the Ukudu Workforce Village has been revised to more precisely reflect the limitations of the work that can be performed at the site.

The Ukudu Village will house up to 15-thousand H-2 workers slated to come to Guam to work on projects related to the military buildup.

The U.S. EPA appears to be concerned that the original permit, which states it is a “permit to construct,” would authorize Younex, not only to build the worker dormitory, but would also lead to a tie-in to the public water and sewer systems.

Read the Original permit attached as Exhibit 1 to declaration from the  U.S. EPA’s Michael Lee

U.S. EPA is especially concerned that the Ukudu Village’s estimated 1-million gallons a day of sewage, will place an overwhelming burden on the already over-burdened Northern Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In a request to the District Court for a Status Hearing on the original permit,  U.S. Department of Justice Attorney for Environmental Enforcement, Robert Mullaney  stated: “We remain concerned that DPW’s permitting process for the Younex project appeared to curtail review by both GWA and Guam EPA.”

Read Mullaney’s Request for a Status Hearing

However, according to documents filed in District Court last Friday, the original permit, issued by DPW’s Permits Administrator Jesus Ninete, has been changed.

The changes include crossing out the word “construct”  and changing it to “erect”; crossing out proposed dormitory workforce and changing it “To Erect bldg. Shell only.”

The initials “JN” appear beside the changes for Jesus Ninete.  However, the date the changes to the original permit were made is not indicated.

And Ninete submited an odd declaration to the Court in which he declares that the July 12th permit, with his signature on it, the permit that prompted the U.S. EPA’s concerns, is not the permit that he issued on July 12. 

“The permit being refered to by the United States” he declared, ” was not the permit issued by DPW on July 12.” 

Read Ninete’s Declaration and the revised permit he issued

Younex Vice President David Tydingco has affirmed that Younex understood Ninete’s original permit only authorized the assembly of the shells of the housing units and did not permit them to hook up to public sewer or water lines.

DPW Director Andy Leon Guerrero has also defended the initial permit Ninete issued saying it was never intended to authorize utility hookups and therefore did not require the signatures of  either the Guam Waterworks Authority or the Guam EPA.

Leon Guerrero has also told PNC News that he expected the Attorney General to require him to revoke, revise and re-issue the permit to clarify the objections raised by the U.S. EPA.

That never happened. 

Instead, during a meeting with the Guam Attorney General last week Tuesday, DPW officials say they were instructed not to comment any further on the Younex project and to refer all further questions on the Younex project to the AG. The Attorney General in turned has declined to respond to any further questions from PNC News regarding the issue.

Now, the Guam Attoreny General has filed an entry of appreance in the case with the District Court. That entry of apperance is accompanied by Ninete’s odd declaration that the original permit U.S. EPA is concerned about,  is not the permit issued by DPW on July 12th.

And the AG is asking the Federal Court to give it more time to respond to the questions raised by the U.S. EPA about the original July 12th “permit to construct” issued by DPW to Younex for the Ukudu Worker Village.