No Stop Work Order Issued On Ukudu Village; AG And DPW May Talk It Over Tuesday

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Guam – Work continued Monday at Younex’s Ukudu Workforce Village. DPW expected to be ordered by the Guam Attorney General to issue a stop work on the project,  but that didn’t happen.

Last Friday, DPW Director Andy Leon Guerrero said he expected the Attorney General to order him to issue the stop work order Monday. But he said his meeting with the AG was cancelled.

Spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, Bryan Cruz told PNC News Monday that a meeting with DPW officials will be held Tuesday morning. A release late Monday afternoon from the Guam AG states that the DPW meeting “may involve” a discussion of the Younex project.

The controversy grows out of a request for a Status Hearing filed in District Court last week by the U.S. EPA. The feds are concerned that DPW issued a second permit to Younex without getting the approval of the Guam Waterworks Authority or Guam EPA. U.S. EPA’s concern is that sewage from the Workforce Village will overwhelm the already stressed Northern Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Its not clear why the AG cancelled the Monday meeting, but DPW Director Leon Guerrero told PNC News Monday that CCU General Manager, and Acting GWA GM, John Benevente had assured him that GWA has no problem with the July 12th permit issued to Younex 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.

The DPW Director has emphasized that the permit does not allow for sewer or water hookups and that the U.S. EPA’s concerns are premature.

“The permit that was issued didn’t require GWA to say I have to give you water or you have to hook up to our sewer systems,” said Leon Guerrero. “When Younnex goes to applies for it that at GWA, GWA can deny it then and there. And Younex knows that then thats the case. So they can build whatever building they want, at the end of the day they can’t get water or services because GWA has every authority to says no.”

Despite Benevente’s assurances that GWA has no problem with the permit and Leon Guerrero assurances that no sewer or water hookups are permitted, its not clear whether the Guam AG will still insist on a stop work order, as Leon Guerrero said they intended to call for.

The District Court has not yet responded to U.S. EPA’s request for a hearing.