Guam – The Guam Environmental Protection Agency is refuting claims made by alleged illegal dump owner Joseph Taitano that the property where the illegal dump is sitting on doesn’t belong to him.
The two were in Superior Court today to begin the litigation process, but because Taitano failed to serve GEPA with his answer to the complaint the agency filed, Judge Arthur Barcinas temporarily suspended the proceedings until the two have had a chance to meet and agree to a timeline.
“The court acknowledged that the Taitanos are now participating in litigation and so what that means is that now that everyon’ss participatingm we’ll go back to the board and figure out what is the timeline for the trial and what is the timeline for this case with both parties engaged,” said Tammy Jo Anderson Taft, GEPA Spokesperson.
Outside the courtroom, Taitano continued to claim that he doesn’t own the illegal dump property and that it was being leased to construction company R.B. Ann.
Taitano says he wants to have the case dismissed on the grounds that he doesn’t own the property.
“Whenever Guam EPA issues a notice of violation or does an inspection, we make sure we know who owns the property and we use tax records and things like that to make sure that whomever we’re going to be issuing the citation to or the notice of violation goes to the correct person. “We have a very strong case, and we’ve got the evidence. We’ve got all the things that we need to prove that there was an injustice done here to the environment,” Tafft added.
Judge Barcinas gave the two parties 30 days to meet and confer and come to an agreement as to when the next hearing will be scheduled.