Guam EPA wins $7.51 million judgment against illegal dump operator Joseph S. Taitano

07 March 2014

The Guam Environmental Protection Agency has won a summary judgment against Joseph S. Taitano and his wife Rosalind C. Taitano.

The judgment awards Guam EPA $7.51 million dollars. The amount includes payment of restitution and more than $3 million in fines, against each respondent, based on civil penalties for solid waste violations.

“Joseph S. Taitano violated the law. He performed an illegal activity that placed our drinking water at risk. Due to the diligence of Guam EPA staff and lawyers at the Attorney General’s office, we are now able to move on and discuss how we can start cleaning up the huge mess that Taitano created,” said Guam EPA Administrator Eric M. Palacios. “Guam EPA continues to work with the Attorney General’s office to determine the next steps in the case. Our work will not be done until the impacts of this massive dumpsite have been minimized and mitigated to the greatest extent possible.”

“My lawyers and support staff work hard at protecting our environment for our people,” said Attorney General Leonardo M. Rapadas. “A clean environment is a legacy we all should be able to pass on to our children. This case is a great example of the Office of the Attorney General working well with other agencies, like the Guam Environmental Protection Agency.”

The judgment also allows future monetary damages to be awarded for cleanup, monitoring and other costs associated with the proper closure of the illegal dump.

Joseph S. Taitano and Rosalind C. Taitano were sued on counts of negligence, public nuisance and violations of Guam’s Solid Waste Management and Litter Control Act. The Guam Attorney General’s Office (AGO), on behalf of Guam EPA, filed the case in the Superior Court of Guam last February.

The judgment was recorded with the clerk of the Superior Court of Guam on Tuesday, March 4.

For more information about the case or to arrange an interview contact TammyJoAnderson.Taft@epa.guam.gov or call 988-7582 or 300-4751/52/53/61.