U.S. EPA orders cleanup at waste hauler facility in Guam

(PNC graphic by Ricky De Guzman)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered Detry Pumping Services, Inc. to adopt environmentally responsible practices for disposing and storing of fats, oils and grease (”FOG”) and upgrade its facility to address Clean Water Act violations at their Piti-Santa Rita facility.

“Facilities that store large amounts of fats, oil and grease must comply with the Spill, Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure requirements,” said Amy Miller, EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Director of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Improper storage and disposal of fats, oil, and grease at Detry Pumping Service, Inc. pose a risk to aquatic life in nearby Antantano river.”

Since 1998, Detry has operated a facility that collects fats, oils, and grease from local restaurants in Guam. An EPA inspection in 2017 found that Detry had not prepared an adequate Spill, Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC) to prevent discharge of oil to surface waters nor implemented all requirements of the Clean Water Act.

Furthermore, the inspection found the facility mixed FOG with powdered-lime mineral to create a slurry and then dumped it on the facility grounds, 300 feet from the Antantano river. In 2019, a second site visit by EPA found no significant improvements.

Detry is required to take the following actions:

= Dispose of improper stored waste in a manner consistent with federal and local laws.
= Remove all partially buried oil storage tanks.
= Conduct an analytical report of the FOG and lime slurry waste.
= Make facility upgrades, including above ground storage tank testing.
= Update the facility’s SPCC plan and complete a final cleanup report.

FOG from restaurants, homes, and industrial sources are the most common cause of reported sewer blockages (47%) nationwide. According to the Guam Waterworks Authority, these blockages cost Guam residents over $500,000 annually and cause raw sewage spills.

Installing grease traps or grease interceptors and/or collecting used FOG in containers for proper disposal at facilities designed and operated to manage this waste can reduce impacts to the environment.