U.S. EPA & Navy Reach Agreement on Apra Harbor Wastewater Treatment Upgrades


Guam – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Navy have completed a compliance agreement that sets out a schedule of upgrades the Navy will make at its Naval Base Guam to the Navy’s Apra Harbor wastewater treatment plant and sewer system.

“The Navy has made a substantial commitment of resources to comply with this agreement,” said Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Upgrading the Apra Harbor sewage treatment facilities is critical to protect the public health and the environment of Guam.”
The Federal Facility Compliance Agreement addresses the diminished performance of the treatment plant and sewer system first cited by EPA in a 2008 Notice of Violation.

The agreement incorporates a schedule of wastewater infrastructure upgrades which are expected to bring the treatment plant and sewer system into full compliance with the Clean Water Act.  A ribbon cutting ceremony on April 4 marked the successful completion of $37 million in improvements at Apra Harbor wastewater treatment plant, the first of many steps outlined in the agreement.  The remaining upgrades involve the repair and replacement of more than 30 miles of sewer lines, force mains, and laterals, hundreds of manholes, and dozens of sewage lift stations.

The Navy has also agreed to institute a base-wide source control program to minimize the release of metals, oils, and other pollutants that are not treated by the Apra Harbor wastewater treatment plant.  This program ensures that the Navy has full control of the shipyard and industrial sources of these pollutants into the sewers, thereby preventing their release through the wastewater treatment plant at unsafe levels.  To further reduce discharges of aluminum and copper, the Navy will modify the drinking water plant to curtail the loss of aluminum-based treatment chemicals into the sewers and to prevent the leaching of copper from household piping.

The upgrades are expected to cost more than $50 million.  The wastewater infrastructure work covers the entire Naval Base Guam and is scheduled for completion by 2016.

For more information see: http://www.epa.gov/region09/water/npdes/compliance.html#navy