Islandwide environmental cleanup program agreement signed

Illegal dumping has long been an issue for the island community. (PNC file photo)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered between the Guam Environmental Protection Agency (Guam EPA) and the Mayors’ Council of Guam (MCOG) for purpose of initiating the MCOG’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Island-wide Environmental Cleanup Program (IECP).

Pursuant to the FY21 budget act under Guam Public Law (Guam P.L.) 35-99, the MCOG received a legislative allocation of up to $1.3M from Guam EPA’s Recycling Revolving Fund (RRF) for sole purpose of removing and disposing junk vehicles, tires, batteries, used oil, white goods, and any other recyclable materials as determined by the Guam EPA Administrator. Guam P.L. 35-99 further mandated the MCOG to submit an expenditure plan to the Guam EPA Board of Directors for review and approval, prior to any expenditure from the allocation.

MCOG Executive Director Angel Sablan submitted the IECP expenditure plan to the Board on November 3, 2020. On November 25, 2020, the Guam EPA board met to review and approve the MCOG plan, and agreed with Executive Director Sablan’s request to release an initial disbursement in the amount of $500,000.

Executive Director Sablan and the Guam EPA Board agreed to have the remainder of the funds become available once 80% of the initial disbursement has been expended and when the board has determined that proper invoicing, documentation, and procurement regulations in the plan have been met.

“Illegal dumping has been an epidemic our island has been facing well before COVID-19 reached our shores. In every outreach and town hall, illegal dumping was a recurring theme. With the Island-wide Environmental Cleanup Program, we join Guam EPA and the Mayors Council in saying ‘enough is enough.’” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.

“The partnership with the Mayors Council to collect and recover abandoned vehicles and other items from our waste stream and illegal dumpsites is a critical part in cleaning up the island. We intend to support and expand this partnership with the Mayors and GEPA,” said Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio.

Guam EPA and the MCOG officially entered into the MOA on December 11, 2020. The MCOG can expect to have access to this disbursement in the coming business days as the next step in the process will be completed by the Department of Administration’s Division of Accounts.

“Guam EPA remains committed to protecting our environment. We are pleased with the Leon Guerrero Tenorio administration’s commitment to the agency’s fiduciary responsibility over the RRF, and we look forward to working with every village mayor so that they will be able to put this money to great use,” said Guam EPA Administrator Walter S. Leon Guerrero.