Guam – District Court Judge Francis Tydingco-Gatewood has granted the Guam Attorney General’s request for more time to respond to 13 issues raised by the U.S. Justice Department on behalf of the U.S. EPA over the original “construction permit” issued by the Guam Department of Public Works to Younex for the Ukudu Workforce Village.
The Feds have raised concerns about that permit because they feared it by-passed the approval of GWA and Guam EPA, waived permit fees and could lead to water and sewer hookups for the village.
U.S. EPA fears that would overwhelm the already over whelmed Northern Wastewater Treatment Plant because the village is expected to generate a million gallons of sewer a day. and the Northern plant is already in violation of discharge limits.
The U.S. Justice Department’s request for a hearing raises 13 questions that it seeks answers too including : “Why did GWA issue a building permit to Younex without obtaining approval from GWA and U.S. EPA?”
In her Friday order, Judge Tydingco-Gatewood gives the Guam Attorney General until September 10th to filed its response to the 13 questions. After that date, she ordered all the parties to “meet, discuss the responses..and determine whether the concerns raised by the United States…have been addressed.”
“If the United States believes that its concerns have been addressed,” write the Judge, “then the request for a hearing is moot. If not, then the United States shall file a reply to the Government of Guam’s filing by Septmeber 27” and the Judge Tydingco-Gatewood will then determine whether or not a hearing on the matter is necessary.
The Ukudu Workforce Village is critical to the buildup because it will be the housing for up to 15-thousand H-2 workers who will construct most of the projects associated with the buildup.
Younex Vice President Dave Tydingco and DPW Director Andy Leon Guerrero have both defended the initial permit issued by DPW’s Permits Director Jesus Ninete, saying they all understood that it was a limited permit for the assembly of the shell’s and did not permit hookups to the sewer or water systems.
However, that was not clear in the original permit. “Shell only” was not checked on the original permit Ninete issued. “New building” was checked instead.
The Guam Attorney General has stepped into the case and Ninete has filed a declaration stating that “the permit being referred to by ther United States was not the permit issued by DPW on July 12th.” A revised permit is included which shows corrections initialled by Ninete including the crossing out of the original construction permit and “shell only” written in instead.