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GWA seeks finality to property dispute with CoreTech

Updated: May 22


By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The Guam Waterworks Authority is seeking to appeal a lower court’s award of a disputed Dededo property to CoreTech International Corp., warning that the decision could trigger a wave of chaos.

“The full practical impact of the lower court’s orders is still being assessed by the governments of both Guam and the United States, but many critical and immediate dangers have already been identified,” GWA said in a petition filed May 17 with the Supreme Court of Guam.


The petition submitted by Rodney Jacob, attorney for GWA, is seeking permission to file an interim appeal challenging the Superior Court’s Aug. 14, 2023 decision and other related issues pending resolution.


The dispute involved a piece of property in the Ukudu area where the northern wastewater treatment plant sits. CoreTech acquired the land from Younex International.

While challenging the property transfer, GWA also questioned the legitimacy of Younex's ownership, arguing that the Department of Land Management “erroneously" issued the certificates of title to the now-defunct company 10 years ago.


Superior Court Judge Elyse Iriarte has upheld CoreTech’s claim, declaring that the company lawfully acquired its title from the previous property owner.

GWA said the court’s decision, if sustained, would entail costly consequences for the government of Guam, and ultimately for the ratepayers.

“The water/wastewater rates may need to be radically increased on an emergency basis to account for the potential $220 million liability to Core Tech,” GWA said.

“This risk is particularly acute given  that GWA has recently requested a 75

percent increase in water and wastewater rates over the next five-year period to address PFAS and further remediation issues, and other federal

regulatory requirements, which is pending approval before the Public

Utilities Commission," it added.

In another scenario, GWA said it could be evicted from the property, which would leave the wastewater system in disarray.

GWA is also concerned that its ability to meet the court-mandated improvements to its infrastructure may be stalled and its bonds may be impaired.

“The urgently needed Ukudu Power Plant, currently under construction, relies on treated effluent from the plant and could be delayed if improvements related to Ukudu cannot be constructed on the plant property,” GWA said.

“Guam and GWA may be unable to meet requirements for the U.S. military build-up, plans for which depend on GWA’s ownership of the plant,” the petition added.

GWA said it must prepare some emergency measures to address the impacts of the lower court decision.    

“Interlocutory review is crucial because the sooner the issue of the ownership of the plant is resolved, the sooner plans can be implemented to mitigate the harm that will otherwise result from the lower court’s orders.”

However, GWA said a reversal of the lower court’s decision could avert “wasting

 expense and time on both emergency measures and unnecessary further



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