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May 26, 2004

Contact: Michael Mann at 475-1623 or mmann@guamepa.govguam.net
Christopher Lund at 475-1621 or clund@guamepa.govguam.net

Guam EPA concludes initial NAS-1 well investigation; GWA will be cited for Safe Drinking Water Act violations

The Guam Environmental Protection Agency (Guam EPA) has concluded the initial investigation into the conditions at the NAS-1 well in Tiyan after above-normal levels of total trihalomethanes (TTHM), a byproduct of the chlorination process, were discovered in sampling results earlier this month. Guam EPA has determined that the Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) violated four separate provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act and will issue a Notice of Violation and Order of Compliance (NOV/OC) to GWA to address these issues and prescribe remedies designed to safely return the well to service.

"Our investigation has uncovered failures on the part of GWA to ensure that operations at the NAS-1 well follow the requirements of Guam's Safe Drinking Water Regulations, including properly notifying the Agency and the public when the sampling results indicate a potential problem," said Guam EPA Administrator Fred M. Castro. "These regulations are in place to protect public health and ensure that our island's drinking water is safe, and Guam EPA takes its responsibility to enforce the Safe Drinking Water Act very seriously," he added.

Guam EPA today will issue a Notice of Violation to GWA for four violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act: 1) exceedance of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for TTHM; 2) non-compliance with public notification requirements; 3) non-compliance with Guam EPA notification requirements; and 4) failure to submit quarterly reports on analytical results to Guam EPA in a timely manner.

GWA is required to notify Guam EPA within 48 hours and the public within 30 days after learning that sampling results exceed maximum contaminant levels. Guam EPA was not notified officially of the above-normal TTHM levels until the Agency began an investigation into the operations at the well. GWA has not yet issued an official notice to the public as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The NOV/OC prescribes several actions that GWA must take to achieve compliance with safe drinking water regulations, including finalizing an agreement between GWA and the Guam International Airport Authority describing each entity's responsibilities in the operation and maintenance of NAS-1.

Guam EPA's investigation into the full scope of operational irregularities at NAS-1 is ongoing. Full results are expected within the next two weeks.

For additional background information on the NAS-1 investigation, please consult Guam EPA's May 10 news release on the subject, which is available online at guamepa.govguam.net/programs/admin/news2004/051004.html.


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URL: https://guamepa.govguam.net/programs/admin/news2004/052604.html
Last update: 26 May 2004

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