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Back Local News Federal receiver accused of delaying solid waste transition

Federal receiver accused of delaying solid waste transition

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THE court-appointed federal solid waste receiver now has new antagonists: the board members of the Guam Solid Waste Authority who have complained that Gershman, Brickner & Bratton (GBB) Inc. has made no progress in initiating the transition of solid waste control to GovGuam.

With the imminent completion of the Ordot Dump closure and the full operation of the Layon Landfill, GSWA is expected to take over solid waste control from the federal receiver.

After getting criticism from the Governor's Office and the former Layon landowners, the receiver is now under attack from GSWA board members who have asked the court for a special hearing on several concerns they have against GBB.

In a filing submitted by the Office of the Governor’s legal counsel, Sandra Miller, GSWA board members told the court the receiver was delaying the transition of control over the Layon Landfill with an intention to wait until 2016 before turning over the landfill’s management.

According to the board, the receiver only utilizes GSWA as “mere advisors.” The board said the receiver’s plan was to turn over the landfill in 2016, and then only at that point would the board be in charge.

Inconsistent

“Relegating the GSWA board to an advisory capacity until 2016 as characterized by the receiver is simply inconsistent with the statutory duties of the GSWA board. The board is charged with overseeing the solid waste management and operations, and the orders of this court clearly contemplated a much sooner transition,” the filing stated.

On March 2008, GBB assumed responsibilities over the island’s solid waste as the court-appointed federal receiver. It entered into a seven-year agreement with an option for a two-year extension at a cost of nearly $3 million a year.

According to the filing, the Layon Landfill faces serious financial problems and the landfill may be bankrupt by the time it is transitioned back to the GSWA board.

“It will be saddled with tens of millions of dollars in debt and taking in revenue that is insufficient to support its operations. At that point, the receiver will be gone and the GSWA board, which has the ultimate responsibility of ensuring that the Layon Landfill project is feasible, will have a disaster on its hands,” a brief from the Governor’s Office states.

The GSWA board will meet with the receiver and solid waste stakeholders today before the court to discuss the board's role, to ensure a smooth transition and to find out whether the board should get their own legal counsel.

The court has set a 7:30 hearing this morning.

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