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$98,000 Enforcement Action Completed

$98,000 Enforcement Action Completed

May 25, 2022 – (Tiyan, Guam) – On April 7, 2022, the Guam Environmental Protection Agency (Guam EPA) received a payment in the amount of $98,000 from Contrack Watts Inc. An administrative penalty order of $98,000 was assessed to Contrack Watts Inc. following a notice of violation (NOV) issued to the company by Guam EPA in November 2019. Contrack Watts appealed the penalty order but paid the full penalty amount before an administrative hearing took place. 

“While we are pleased with the respondent’s decision to cooperate and comply with our orders, every contractor should take heed of this violation as it has the potential to degrade our aquatic habitats, and could cost thousands of dollars in unnecessary fines and damages,” said Guam EPA administrator Walter S. Leon Guerrero. “No construction project on our island is above regulation, and with the help of the community’s eyes and ears, the Agency will continue to hold every project to strict compliance.”

While constructing new sewer infrastructure for the Department of Defense under the P-535 Sanitary Sewer System Recapitalization project, Contrack Watts Inc. was found in violation of Guam’s Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations (GSESCR) when the company failed to install erosion control best management practices (BMPs) at a portion of its project site along Marine Corps Drive in the vicinity of Polaris Point in Piti. Guam EPA ordered Contrack Watts to cease all earthmoving work and construction until installation and re-inspection of BMPs were performed. Installation of the BMPs was completed within 14 days from the issuance of the NOV. 

Two separate inspections occurred at the project site. In July 2019, Guam EPA Water Pollution Control (WPC) program personnel issued a warning to Contrack Watts Inc. for failure to install BMPs. This inspection was done with the assistance of Naval Base Guam’s Environmental program personnel. A second inspection performed in November 2019 led to the issuance of a NOV, with a final administrative penalty order for $7,000 per day for fourteen (14) days of non-compliance. 

The $98,000 administrative penalty order will benefit Guam EPA’s WPC program and will be used for the enforcement and compliance of Guam’s Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations.

Properly installed BMPs are necessary components of a project site as they are designed to help manage stormwater runoff when earthmoving work has been performed. Keeping soil on the project site, rather than letting it be washed off into natural water bodies can reduce and prevent the  siltation and degradation of aquatic habitats. Project managers should follow their approved Erosion and Sediment Control Plans to prevent letting soil wash off onto roads, into storm sewers, and having sewers clogged with sediment.

For more information about BMPs and the GSESCR, visit epa.guam.gov/programs/water-pollution-control/ and view the Agency’s water pollution resource guides. To report a violation, contact Guam EPA by phone at 671-300-4751/2.

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