Judge Francis Tydincgo-Gatewood Takes Tour of Closed Ordot DumpWritten by Timothy Mchenry
Guam - They called it a pyramid but in reality it’s a 200-foot high mound of Guam’s trash. Today, chief judge Francis Tydincgo-Gatewood held an official court hearing on site at the closed dump.
It was 1940 and the Ordot dump began its tumultuous life as a dump with storm water filtering through trash and into the Lonfit river and the coral reefs in Pago Bay, fast-forward to august of 2011, 71 years later and the dump officially ends its operational life. Today when chief judge Francis Tydincgo-Gatewood and representatives from both the executive and legislative branch were on hand to tour the facility ahead of a court hearing tomorrow,
“Sixty six years ago was when the Ordot dump was given from the military to Guam to take over and as i indicated it was 16 years ago that the consent decree was filed by the appropriate parties, so it really is as it says here…it is finally closed,” said Tydincgo-Gatewood.
The closure of the Ordot dump and the post closure projects set to take place have been mirred in controversy created by bickering between the federal receiver Gershman Brickner and Bratton and Gov Guam. In the past, CCU Commissioner Simon Sanchez has criticized GBB’s plan to finance post closure of the Ordot dump. Tydincgo-Gatewood recognized the tension heading into a court tomorrow.
“There will be a lot of emotion, a lot of advocacy zealousness and that’s just all part of it and I am proud that the receivers have continued to remain professional,” said Tydincgo-Gatewood.
Once the tour began, Paul Baron, principal engineer for GHD, the company contracted to operate the closed dump, showed off what he calls the most important part of closure of Ordot, the cover system. Baron says the cover system is comprised of multiple layers to help filter out leachate, or storm water mixed with trash.
“Some of the key features, the storm water system, you can see the geo cell infill, those black pipes sticking up are vertical gas extraction wells,” said Baron.
The dump has a leachate filtration system that leads to ponding basins around the area. The biggest of which is located right next to a river. Speaker Judi Won Pat brought concern that the waste infected water could sneak out and into the nearby body of water.
“This is basically, it follows the Guam EPA requirements for the advanced storm water design and so basically its allowed to go out and there’s the outlet it has the low flow outlet and it has the high flow outlet. Its basically sized for a 25 year storm event as it comes up its released slowly and all the sediment settles out before its released so its clean…basically,” said Baron.