Protesters decry inaction, light fine in 2017 pipeline spill
Members of the environmental group Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian have seen the official response to the 2017 incident in which a military contractor waited nearly three months to notify the Guam Environmental Protection Agency about accidentally spilling 100 gallons of jet fuel and 10 gallons of fuel-contaminated water and they're disappointed.
The jet fuel spill occurred during an upgrade to a pipeline from Sasa Valley to Andersen AFB one year ago in August 2017. While the project cost is $63 million dollars, the contractor was only required to pay fines of less than $100,000 according to Prutehi Litekyan and reports.
That delay, the small fine and the lack of a public announcement of the action led to group to a late afternoon protest at Hagatna's Paseo Loop Wednesday.
Jessica Nangauta Malesso of the group said it was one more disappointment from officialdom, "We sent out many letters to them asking for information and have not heard any feedback from them. We're taking it to the streets. We want our people to know about this, because many people do not know what's going on. I'd like to know what they're going to do about this environmental crisis that's happening on the island. This grave injustice of ongoing contamination. Because contamination has been happening for so many years."
In addition to making its views known, the group has a number of demands, including that all fuel and jet fuel leaks and contamination throughout the island resulting from both military and private/corporate projects be revealed as well as details on
the number of abandoned underground fuel storage tanks and the amount of jet fuel currently on Guam.
Prutehi is also concerned about the welfare and/or removal of threatened Guam tree snails and other sensitive species as a result of the environmental violations and wants specifics on whether any historic properties or cultural sites have been disturbed as a result of the spill.
Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian describes itself as a direct action group dedicated to the protection of natural and cultural resources in the areas identified for DOD live-fire training on Guam as part of the ongoing military buildup.