Guam – Governor-elect Eddie Calvo hosted Region 9 Guam Program Manager Michael K. Wolfram of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this morning [Wednesday].
The leaders discussed funding for water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades and concerns over the northern aquifer and Guam’s coral reefs in a meeting at the governor-elect’s office.
“We’ve seen a lot of issues with U.S. EPA the past few years,” Governor-elect Calvo told Wolfram. “We will be engaged with you. We don’t want to get to a point where other people are telling us what to do.”
Wolfram agreed and said he would “like the community to understand we’re working together.”
The governor-elect first expressed concerns over funding gaps for the water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades needed for the island’s organic growth and because of the military buildup.
“The financial burden must be shared by Department of Defense,” Wolfram said. “We’ve been advocating the One Guam solution. Right now, there is a gap in funding. This is one thing we’ve brought to the forefront and to the highest levels. GovGuam should not have to solely bear the burden of upgrades needed for the military buildup. We believe there should be a shared contribution.”
Wolfram mentioned discussions are ongoing and added, “I think we’re headed in the right direction.”
Wolfram told the governor-elect Region 9 also is concerned about the integrity of the northern aquifer. He said he will join the government of Guam in ensuring the added population does not over harvest the drinking water supply, and the pressures do not allow salt permeations into the aquifer.
“We also want to minimize impact to coral reefs, especially at Apra Harbor,” Wolfram said.
“Everything we will do in our administration will center around balanced and sustainable growth beyond the buildup,” Calvo said. “We will protect our natural resources. We look forward to working with the federal government to protect our land, water and air quality.”