EPA awards nearly $1.3 million to Guam for environmental protection

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $1,296,939 to the Guam Environmental Protection Agency (GEPA) to strengthen its capacity to protect human health and the environment.

The work done by GEPA includes ensuring clean beaches and safe drinking water, cleaning up formerly contaminated areas for productive use, issuing permits, and inspections and enforcement. This funding is US EPA’s initial award to GEPA in 2017 and additional funding will be provided later this year.

“Guam Environmental Protection Agency has been a great partner in environmental protection,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We are pleased to support its programs committed to achieving a better environment for the residents of Guam.”

The funding will enable GEPA to continue a host of ongoing environmental programs including:

Reducing non-point source pollution generated by stormwater runoff in the Ugum watershed, a key drinking water source for southern Guam, through education and outreach, improved land management and construction practices, and planting trees in eroded areas;

Protecting the Northern Guam Lens, the island’s sole-source drinking water aquifer, through permitting and enforcement programs designed to prevent contamination, maintain water quality, and ensure potable drinking water for the residents of Guam;

Monitoring 44 recreational beaches around the island weekly for microbiological contamination;

Providing improved real-time access to environmental data through development of the Guam Facility Registry System and updates to GEPA’s geographic information system;

Developing GEPA’s Brownfields program and selecting clean-up sites;

Improving pesticide management by educating farmers on proper application techniques and how to prevent illegal importation and use of unregistered pesticides;

Conducting island-wide inspections to prevent fuel leaks from underground and aboveground fuel storage tanks;

Conducting radon assessments at selected homes and institutional buildings; and

The award also includes contract support to strengthen GEPA’s oversight of safe drinking water, and to make GEPA’s information management and air permit system more efficient for use by the government of Guam and the public.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency
Date: Apr 24, 2017