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10 GCA Chapter 47:
Water Pollution Control Act

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The Water Pollution Act was enacted in its present form in 1985 by Public Law 17-87. It outlines procedures for protecting Guam's water supply from pollution and/or contamination.

The full text of this law is included on this site for reference purposes only. Any questions about interpretation of these regulations should be directed to appropriate Guam EPA staff.

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CHAPTER 47 Water Pollution Control

        NOTE: Chapter 47 was enacted in its present form by 

           P.L. 17-87. All SOURCE references will be to later amendments only.



47101.         Act.

47102.         Statement of Policy.

47103.         Definitions.

47104.         Powers and Duties of the Agency.

47105.         Powers and Duties of the Administrator.

47106.         Pollution Unlawful: Permits.

47107.         Inspection and Entry.

47108.         Classification and Standards.

47108.1.      Designation of Groundwater Protection Zone.

47109.         Enforcement.

47110.         Emergency Procedure.

47111.         Penalties.

47112.         Assistance by Governmental Agencies.





  47101. Act. This Act shall be known as the Water Pollution 

Control Act.



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  47102. Statement of Policy. Whereas, a pollution of the 

waters of this Territory may be detrimental to public health and 

welfare, and may adversely affect livestock, wildlife, fish and 

aquatic life, and may progressively obstruct agricultural, industrial, 

recreational and other beneficial uses of water, it is hereby declared 

to be the policy of the government of Guam to conserve its water 

resources and to protect, maintain, and improve the quality and 

potability thereof for public water supplies, for the propagation of 

wildlife, fish and aquatic life, and for agricultural, industrial, 

recreational and other beneficial uses, to provide a comprehensive 

program in the public interest for the prevention, abatement and 

control of new or existing water pollution, to provide effective means 

for the carrying out and enforcement of such program, and to provide 

for cooperation with agencies of the United States of America for the 

purpose of implementing the provisions of this Chapter.



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  47103. Definitions. For the purpose of this Act, the 

following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them 

in this Section:

        (a) Sewage means the water-carried waste products from the 

residences, public buildings, institutions or other buildings, 

including the excrementitious or other discharge from the bodies of 

human beings or animals, together with such ground water infiltration 

and surface water as may be present.

        (b) Industrial waste means any liquid, gaseous or solid waste 

substances resulting from any process of industry, manufacturing, 

trade or business or from the development of any natural resource, 

together with such sewage as may be present, which may pollute the 

waters of the territory.

        (c) Other wastes means garbage, municipal refuse, sand, offal, 

oil, tar, chemicals and all other substances which may pollute the 

waters of the territory.

        (d) Contamination means an impairment of the qualities of the 

waters of the territory of sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes 

to a degree which creates a hazard to human health or is detrimental 

to the most beneficial uses of the waters.

        (e) Pollution as used in this Act shall mean the alteration of 

the physical, chemical or biological properties of any waters of the 

territory which adversely and unreasonably impairs the water quality 

of the territory or which renders said waters hazardous to human 

health or harmful or detrimental to their most beneficial uses.

        (f) Sewage conveyance system means pipelines or conduits, 

pumping stations, and force mains, and all other construction, devices 

and appliances appurtenant thereto, used for collecting or conducting 

sewage or industrial waste or other wastes to a point of ultimate 

treatment or disposal.

        (g) Treatment works means any facility, disposal field, 

lagoon, dam, pumping station, incinerator, or other works not 

specifically mentioned herein, installed for the purpose of treating, 

stabilizing or holding sewage, industrial waste, or other wastes.

        (h) Disposal system means a system for disposing of sewage, 

industrial waste or other wastes, and includes sewage conveyance 

systems and treatment works.

        (i) Waters of the territory means all shore waters surrounding 

Guam, streams, lakes, wells, springs, irrigation systems, marshes, 

watercourses, waterways, drainage systems and other bodies of water, 

surface and underground, natural or artificial, publicly or privately 

owned.

        (j) Person means any natural person, partnership or 

unincorporated association of natural persons, trusts, corporations or 

other types of private legal entities and public entities including 

the United States of America and the government of Guam and any agency 

thereof.



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  47104. Powers and Duties of the Agency. The Agency is 

herewith authorized and directed:

        (a) To study, investigate, or cause to be studied and 

investigated and, from time to time, determine ways and means of 

eliminating from all ground and surface waters of the territory, so 

far as practical, all substances and materials which pollute the same, 

and to determine methods, as far as practical, of preventing pollution 

that is detrimental to the public health or the health of animals, 

fish, or the industrial development of the territory or detrimental to 

the practical use of waters for recreational purposes, agricultural or 

industrial purposes, or obnoxious, nauseous or toxic for domestic 

purposes;

        (b) To develop and adopt a comprehensive program for the 

prevention, control, and abatement of pollution from the waters of the 

territory and from time to time review and modify such program for the 

guidance of the Administrator;

        (c) To recommend and encourage studies, investigations, 

research, and demonstrations relating to water pollution and causes, 

prevention, control and abatement thereof, as are deemed advisable and 

necessary and to direct the Administrator regarding any actions deemed 

necessary from the results of such studies, investigations, research 

and demonstrations in order that the Administrator may discharge his 

responsibilities under this Act;

        (d) To formulate standards of water purity and classification 

of water according to them most beneficial uses of water; in 

formulating such standards and classifications consideration shall be 

given to the economics of waste treatment and prevention;

        (e) To hold hearings necessary for the proper administration 

of this Act; and to receive complaints and make investigations in 

relation thereto;

        (f) To exercise all incidental powers necessary to carry out 

the purposes of this Act.



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  47105. Powers and Duties of the Administrator. The 

Administrator shall have and may exercise the following powers and 

duties:

        (a) To consider actions of this agency as set forth in 47104, 

provided that the Administrator may modify such actions of the Agency 

only insofar as is necessary to protect human health;

        (b) To accept and administer loans and grants from the Federal 

Government; and from any other source, for carrying out any of its 

functions;

        (c) To issue, modify revoke orders for the abatement of 

pollution or to require the adoption of such remedial measure, 

including the construction of new disposal systems or treatment works 

or the modifications, extension or alteration of existing systems and 

works, as directed by the Agency;

        (d) To examine and approve or disapprove all plans and 

specifications for the construction and operation of (1) new sewage 

conveyance systems, disposal systems and treatment works, (2) 

extensions, modifications of or addition as to new or existing sewage 

conveyance systems, disposal systems or treatment works, (3) extension 

modifications of or additions to factories, manufacturing 

establishments or business enterprises, the operation of which could 

cause a substantial increase in waste discharges or otherwise 

substantially alter the physical, chemical or biological properties of 

the waters of the territory and (4) new outlets for the discharge of 

sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes into any sewage conveyance 

system or otherwise into the waters of the territory subject to the 

rules and regulations of the Agency;

        (e) To issue, continue in effect, revoke, modify or deny 

permits to any person for the collection and discharge of sewage and 

industrial and other wastes under such conditions as the Agency may 

prescribe;

        (f) To advise, consult and cooperate with other agencies of 

the government of Guam; with the Federal Government and with affected 

groups, political subdivisions and industries, in the formulation of 

such comprehensive program;

        (g) To collect and disseminate information relating to water 

pollution and the prevention, control and abatement thereof;

        (h) To conduct as the Administrator deems necessary, studies, 

investigations, research and demonstrations relating to water 

pollution and the causes, prevention, control and abatement thereof.



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  47106. Pollution Unlawful: Permits. (a) It shall be unlawful 

for any person to cause the pollution, as defined herein, of any 

waters of the territory.

        (b) It shall be unlawful for any person to construct, install 

or operate a new sewage conveyance system, disposal systems, or 

treatment works, extensions, modifications or additions to factories, 

manufacturing establishments or business enterprises, the operation of 

which could cause a substantial increase in waste discharges to the 

waters of the territory or otherwise substantially alter the physical, 

chemical or biological properties of the waters of the territory, or 

to make or cause to be made any new outlet for the discharge of 

sewage, industrial waste or other wastes into any sewage conveyance 

system or into the waters of this territory without first securing 

such permit as the Administrator may require, including the submission 

of plans and specifications and such other information as he deems 

relevant in connection with the issuance of such permits.

        (c) No permit shall be issued under this Section for any use 

in violation of Water Quality Standards adopted under this Act.



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  47107. Inspection and Entry. The Administrator or his duly 

authorized representative shall have the power to enter at reasonable 

times upon any private or public property for the purpose of 

inspecting and investigating conditions relating to pollution of any 

waters of the territory.



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  47108. Classification and Standards. In order to effectuate a 

comprehensive program for the prevention, abatement and control of 

pollution in the waters of the territory, the Agency is authorized to 

group such waters into classes in accordance with their present and 

future most beneficial uses; such classification or standards may from 

time to time be altered or modified. Standards of quality and purity 

for each such classification shall be adopted in relation to the most 

beneficial use and benefit to which the waters are or may in the 

future be put; such standards may from time to time be altered or 

modified.

        Before streams are classified or standards established or 

before such standards are modified or repealed, public hearing by the 

Agency shall be held in connection therewith. Notice of public hearing 

for the consideration, adoption of amendment or the classification of 

waters and the standards of purity and quality thereof shall specify 

the water concerning which a classification is sought to be made or 

for which standards are sought to be adopted and the time, date and 

place of such hearing. Such notice is to be published at least once a 

week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general 

circulation and in addition shall be mailed to such other persons as 

the Agency has reason to believe may be directly affected by such 

classifications and the settings of such standards.



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  47108.1. Designation of Groundwater Protection Zone. (a) In 

order to implement measures to protect and preserve the integrity of 

underground water resources, the Agency shall prepare a groundwater 

protection zone map which defines those land areas which overlie 

existing and future groundwater development sites or provide recharge 

waters thereto. The groundwater protection zone map may from time to 

time be altered or modified based on new information including but not 

limited to, subsurface geological investigations, water quality 

analyses, climatological records, water level measurements, and 

hydrogeological studies and analyses. The Department of Land 

Management shall prepare a metes and bounds description of the land 

area designated the Administrator.

        (b) Before the adoption of the groundwater protection zone map 

by the Agency or before said map is altered or modified, public 

hearings by the Agency shall be held in connection therewith. Notice 

of public hearings for the consideration, adoption or modification to 

the groundwater protection zone map shall indicate the time, date and 

place for such hearing and shall be published at least once a week for 

two (2) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.



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  47109. Enforcement. (a) Whenever the agency has reason to 

believe that a violation of any provision of this Act, or rule or 

regulation pursuant thereto, has occurred, it may cause written notice 

to be served upon the alleged violator or violators. The notice shall 

specify the provision of this Act or rule or regulation alleged to be 

violated, and the facts alleged to constitute a violation thereof, and 

may include an order that necessary corrective action be taken within 

a specified time. Any such order shall become final unless, no later 

than ten (10) days after the date the notice and order are served, the 

person or persons named therein request in writing a hearing before 

the Agency. Upon such a request, the Agency shall hold a hearing. In 

lieu of an order, the Agency may require that the alleged violator or 

violators appear before the Agency for a hearing at a time and place 

specified in the notice and answer the charges complained of, or the 

Agency may initiate action pursuant to 47111 of this Act.

        (b) If, after a hearing held pursuant to Subsection (a) of 

this Section, the Agency finds that a violation or violations have 

occurred, it shall affirm or modify the order previously issued or 

issue an appropriate order or orders for the prevention, abatement, or 

control of the pollution involved or for the taking of such other 

corrective action as may be appropriate. If, after hearing on an order 

contained in a notice, the Agency finds that no violation has occurred 

or is occurring, it shall rescind the order. Any order issued as part 

of a notice or after hearing may prescribe the date or dates by which 

the violation or violations shall cease and may prescribe timetables 

for necessary action in preventing, abating or controlling the 

pollution.

        (c) No later than ten (10) days after the issuance of the 

final order of the Agency, an appeal to the Superior Court of Guam may 

be made against any decision of the Agency by any person who is or may 

be adversely affected thereby.

        (d) Nothing in this Act shall prevent the Agency from making 

efforts to obtain voluntary compliance through warning, conference or 

any other appropriate means.

        (e) In connection with any hearing held pursuant to this 

Section, the Agency, or its designate, shall have power to administer 

oaths, examine witnesses, and issue notices of hearings and subpoenas 

requiring the testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence 

relevant to matter involved in the hearing. 



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  47110. Emergency Procedure. (a) Any other provisions of law 

to the contrary notwithstanding, if the Administrator finds that a 

generalized condition of pollution exists, and that it creates an 

emergency requiring immediate action to protect the intended uses of 

the water as designated in the Standards of Water Quality for Waters 

of the Territory of Guam, or to protect human health or safety, the 

Administrator, with the concurrence of the Governor, shall order 

persons causing or contributing to the pollution to reduce or 

discontinue immediately the pollutants, and such order shall fix a 

place and time, not later than twenty-four (24) hours thereafter, for 

a hearing to be held before the Agency. Not more than Twenty-four (24) 

hours after the commencement of such hearing, and without adjournment 

thereof, the Agency shall affirm, modify or set aside the order of the 

Administrator.

        (b) In the absence of a generalized condition of pollution of 

the type referred to in Subsection (a), but if the Administrator finds 

that pollutants from the operation of one or more polluting sources is 

causing imminent danger to the intended uses of the water as 

designated in the Standards of Water Quality for Waters of the 

Territory of Guam or is causing imminent danger to human health or 

safety, he may order the person or persons responsible for the 

operation or operations in question to reduce or discontinue 

pollutants immediately, without regard to the provision of Subsection 

(a) of 47109 of this Act. In such event, the requirements for hearing 

and affirmance, modification or setting aside of orders set forth in 

Subsection (a) of 47110 shall apply.



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  47111. Penalties. (a) Any person who violates any provision 

of this Act, or any rule or regulation in force pursuant thereto, 

shall be guilty of misdemeanor and subject on account thereof to a 

fine of not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00). Each day of 

violation shall constitute a separate offense.

        (b) Action pursuant to Subsection (a) of this Section shall 

not be a bar to enforcement of this Act, rules and regulations in 

force pursuant thereto, and orders made pursuant to this Act, by 

injunction or other appropriate remedy, and the Agency shall have 

power to institute and maintain in the name of this Territory any and 

all such enforcement proceedings. Such proceedings shall be conducted 

in and by the Superior Court of Guam.

        (c) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to abridge, limit, 

impair, create, enlarge or otherwise affect substantively or 

procedurally the right of any person to damages or other relief on 

account of injury to persons or property and to maintain any action or 

other appropriate proceeding therefor.



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  47112. Assistance By Governmental Agencies. The services and 

facilities of departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the 

government of Guam may be made available to the Agency in the exercise 

of its functions to the extent allowed by law.



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URL: https://guamepa.govguam.net/regs/chapter47.html
Last update: 21 December 2000

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