Tsang Brothers fined $24K for illegal burning that led to massive fire

858

The Guam EPA concluded its investigation and issued a notice of violation.

Guam – Tsang Brothers, the company that allegedly caused a fire last month in Harmon through open burning, has been slapped with a $24,000 fine as a result of a Guam Environmental Protection Agency investigation. 

In a release from the GEPA, the agency found that Tsang Brothers is in violation of the Guam Solid Waste Management and Litter Control Act, Guam’s Air Pollution Control Act and the Guam Air Pollution Control Standards and Regulations.

The Guam EPA cited the improper disposal of waste and storage of solid waste, as well as the open burning of combustible material. Tsang Brothers was ordered to immediately cease the illegal storage and open burning of solid waste within its confines, dispose of all solid waste in a GEPA approved facility and provide receipts to confirm compliance. They will have 15 days to pay up or to appeal.

You can read the entire release below:

 

June 12, 2017 (Tiyan, Guam) — The Guam Environmental Protection Agency (Guam EPA) has completed an investigation in relation to a fire that occurred on the FSM Recycling facility on May 13, 2017. The results of a separate investigation conducted by the Guam Fire Department’s Fire Investigation Bureau supported the findings in an investigations by Guam EPA’s Air Pollution Control Program and Solid Waste Management Program, leading to an issuance of a notice of violation, an order of compliance and an administrative penalty order to Tsang Brothers Corporation (Tsang Bros).

 

Guam EPA has determined that Tsang Bros is in violation of provisions set forth in Guam’s Solid Waste Management and Litter Control Act (SWMLCA), Guam’s Air Pollution Control Act and the Guam Air Pollution Control Standards and Regulations (GAPCSR), resulting in $24,000 in fines.

 

Guam EPA Administrator Walter S. Leon Guerrero stated, “It is incumbent upon the entire business community on Guam to exercise a safe and regulated approach in properly managing their solid waste.” Leon Guerrero also stated, “While our agency applauds the efforts of the many other local companies for understanding the importance of safeguarding human and environmental health, we frown upon the recent practices of Tsang Brothers and their corporate irresponsibility, and we look forward to their return to compliance with optimism where they become environmental stewards.”

 

Issuance of Notice of Violation (NOV):

The Guam EPA Solid Waste Management Program has discovered that Tsang Bros has:

• Violated the provisions of the SWMLCA, cited in 10 GCA Chapter 51, §51110 (a)(1)

• Placed or allowed to be placed any solid waste upon highways, public or private property in a manner not consistent with the SWMLCA, cited in 10 GCA Chapter 51, §51110 (a)(3)

• Stored or allowed the storage and disposal of solid waste in a manner that degrades the environment, or creates a public nuisance and health and safety hazard, cited in 10 GCA Chapter 51, §51110 (a)(5)

• Destroyed or attempted to destroy waste in a manner not authorized by Guam EPA administrator, cited in 10 GCA Chapter 51, §51110 (a)(8)

 

The Guam EPA Air Pollution Control Program has discovered that Tsang Bros has:

• Engaged in an activity which causes air pollution or causes or allows the emission of regulated or hazardous air pollutants without first securing written approval from Guam EPA administrator, cited in 22 GAR, Article 2 §1201

• Engaged in the activity of disposing of combustible material by open burning, or caused or allowed or permitted open burning of combustible material without meeting criteria in the GAPCSR, cited in 22 GAR, Article 2 §1311

 

Issuance of Order of Compliance:

The Guam EPA has ordered that Tsang Bros: immediately cease the illegal storage and illegal open burning of solid waste within its confines, dispose of all solid waste within its confines at a Guam EPA permitted facility, provide disposal receipts to Guam EPA to confirm proper disposal of solid waste and meet with Guam EPA to discuss compliance and remedial measurements.

 

Should any of the orders issued to Tsang Bros not be met within the specified timeline, Guam EPA can issue further orders and additional fines and administrative penalties.

 

Administrative Penalty Order:

Violations itemized in the NOV are subject to a penalty of up to $1,000.00, per solid waste violation, per day and up to $10,000 per air pollution violation, per day. The penalty amount shall be due 15 calendar days from the issuance of the NOV. However, violators are able to file what is known as a “Petition for Penalty Adjustment,” within 15 calendar days from the issuance of the NOV, to lower the penalty amount if it is believed that mitigating factors in the law for lower penalties are present. Violators are also presumed to be able to pay for penalties. However, violators are able to file what is known as an “Inability to Pay Statement,” sworn under penalty of perjury, within 15 calendar days from the issuance of the NOV.

 

 

Additionally, all violators have the right to appeal an NOV before the Guam EPA Board of Directors, by filing a “Notice of Defense,” which should include a verified petition that outlines both legal and factual basis for any such appeal.