- Written by Terry Arthur
Guam EPA Administrator Eric Palacios tells PNC their investigation into Viba's operations determined the company was accepting quantities of solid waste prior the issuance of its operating permit, which is a violation of law. Guam EPA also worked with Guam Police to obtain documentary evidence to support this enforcement action.
In addition to the NOV, Viba must pay $57 thousand dollars from an Administrative Penalty Order that was also issued.
Palacios also makes it clear the investigation into Viba's role with the recent copper wire thefts of various schools is not part of the NOV.
On January 9, just 3 days after Viba received its license, Guam Police raided Viba's Harmon scrapyard and seized 8 tons of stolen copper wire.
“The NOV that we issued is not centered on the allegation that it accepted stolen waste” said Palacios. “We look at it holistically and that is, they accepted waste period, prior to them being authorized to accept waste. Without jeopardizing any ongoing investigation and concurrent investigation by the Guam Police Department, I can say that that's what our NOV is premised on. They accepted waste.”
Palacios adds if GPD and the Attorney General's Office can prove the solid waste was stolen, then Guam EPA will determine if any additional enforcement action is necessary, such as revoking Viba's permit completely. The company has 15 days to comply or contest the NOV with the Guam EPA Board.