GBBâ€™s concern has prompted federal judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood to schedule a status hearing for Dec. 10 to discuss the urgent matter and determine if Guam EPA is fully cooperating with GBB to meet the court ordered timetable.
Manning said that with more specific orders from the Court, Guam EPA will be compelled to give consent decree projects adequate attention.
â€œAs a result, the approval of the necessary permits to begin constructionâ€¦would not be expedited, which would significantly delay the construction schedule already approved by the Court,â€ Manning said.
Under the approved schedule, the permit for the construction and operation of the entire solid waste management facility for the new landfill in Layon will not be issued until mid-July, 2009.
In keeping with this timetable, the building permit applications for Cells 1 and 2 (mass grading), internal landfill site access road, the Stormwater Management System and the improvements to the temporary access road to Layon was filed by TG Engineers, PC at the Department of Public Works on Nov. 5. A copy was transmitted to Guam EPA on the same date.
â€œThis work is critical to the schedule for building the landfill. No construction work on the landfill itself will begin until the construction/operation Solid Waste Facility Permit is approved,â€ Manning stated in his letter.
ReviewManning has requested that the Court direct Guam EPA and other reviewing agencies to process and review the building permit application for Cells 1 and 2 which includes the process of readying the site for construction, notwithstanding that the construction/operation permit for the solid waste management facility at Layon has not yet been issued.
Manning is also requesting that the Court direct TG Engineers, PC to submit enough copies of the building permit application to the Department of Public Works to allow agencies to conduct simultaneous reviews.
Manning would like to the Court to direct all reviewing agencies to complete the review process and provide a response to DPW at a reasonable time which would allow the department to complete the final processing and issue the permit on or before Jan. 8, 2009.
At the scheduled hearing, testimony will be heard on the government of Guamâ€™s financing plan filed on Dec. 1 by the Office of the Attorney General.Â Budget director Bertha Duenas and Anthony Blaz, administrator of the Guam Economic Development Authority are expected to testify.
The judge also expects an affidavit or oral testimony from bond counsel that Bill 399 proposed by Gov. Felix Camacho to the Guam Legislature will place the money in the hands of the receiver. Bill 399 would allow the governor to issue the Guam Solid Waste Management System Revenue Bonds.
Bond seriesThe bond series will pay for capital funding of $159.7 million to meet the requirements of the Consent Decree; $40.1 million will be used for the closure of the Ordot Dump and $119.6 million will be used for the construction of the new landfill.Â The bill allows the pledge of Section 30 monies to secure the repayment of issued bonds. Â
Section 30 funds are part of the General Fund and the governor told the court in October that these funds are the â€œlifelineâ€ of the government when there is a need to fill a financial shortage within the government.
The governorâ€™s statement in court and the submittal of Bill 399 has confused Senator Ben Pangelinan, saying that he didnâ€™t understand why the governor would contradict himself.
The judge also expects the government to file a summary by 12 noon, Dec. 9, 2008, of the proposals that GEDA received from its emergency Request For Proposal which would allow for a $20 million loan. Two lending institutions responded but by procurement law, a minimum of three responses is required. The government must come up with $20 million by Jan. 5, 2009 to be given to GBB.
The judge also expects government of Guam officials to provide the total dollar amount with the acquisition of the Layon property. The information must be filed in court by 12 noon, Dec. 9, 2008.
The court expects the plaintiff, the United States, to file by 12 noon, Dec. 9, 2008, its response to the governmentâ€™s finance plan and the court expects the U.S. to include in its response a calculation of all accrued penalties since the government of Guam failed to meet the various deadlines in the Consent Decree.
The court expects a U.S. EPA representative to be present at the hearing, as well as Gov. Camacho or designee, Speaker Judi Won Pat or designee, and DPW director Larry Perez.