Investigations, citations mount against developers over Marbo Cave destruction



The Guam Contractors Licensing Board (CLB) has issued a notice of violation to Samsung E & C America Inc. as it launched an investigation into its Samsung Mangilao Solar Project for environmental damage at Marbo Cave.


The Guam Environmental Protection Agency earlier issued notices of violation against Samsung and the Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO-LG). Both companies are also facing a lawsuit filed by the Office of the Attorney General of Guam.


Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said Tuesday a federal team is coming to Guam to "in the coming weeks" to inspect the Marbo site.


"I learned about the violations while in San Francisco, and I am pleased that a team will be in Guam to review the matter," the governor said.


The Guam Contractors Licensing Board has called representatives from Samsung E&C America to appear before the body on Aug. 6.


"We are still awaiting previously requested documents from the contractor. Upon receipt of these documents, citation and penalties will be prepared and reviewed by legal counsel and CLB board of directors,” CLB executive director Buddy Orsini said.


According to CLB, the investigator may issue citations to acting contractors for their violations.


"Each citation shall be in writing and shall describe the basis of the citation, including the statutory provisions alleged to have been violated," CLB said. "The citation shall also contain an order to cease and desist from the violation, and an assessment of civil penalties no less than $200 but not to exceed 50 percent ( of the value of the project."


In a complaint filed last week, the OAG asked the court to award actual damages and punitive damages against KEPCO-LG and Samsung for damaging Guam’s natural resources and creating a public nuisance.


“In continuing to deliver on our promise to better protect our environment, today we have taken action to hold those who harm Guam’s natural resources accountable,” said Attorney General Leevin T. Camacho.


The complaint alleges the defendants knew the Project site was located, and remains, within the groundwater recharge area of Guam’s aquifer and watershed area that supplies 80 percent of the island’s drinking water.


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GEPA responded to a complaint alleging the discharge of runoff from the project site. GEPA representatives observed that, despite earthwork activities being well underway, the defendants had failed to fully implement the erosion control measures they agreed to take under the E&SC Plan.


"As a result of defendants’ failures, there was the significant discharge of runoff and sediment from the Project site onto adjoining properties, including a freshwater cave, as well as into the ocean," OAG said.



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