DEIS: utility project hazards negligible
Thursday, 10 December 2009 04:41 by Jude Lizama | Variety News Staff
EPA reports 8 facilities show increase in toxic emissions
ENVIRONMENTAL impacts of two islandwide water system upgrade proposals have been cited within the draft environmental impact statement for the Guam military buildup.
The preferred alternative for potable water system upgrades would consist of installing as many as 22 new wells at Andersen Air Force Base, rehabilitating existing wells, interconnecting with the Guam Waterworks Authority water system and associated transmission and distribution systems.
Much like the impact study information on possible hazards to the local environment as a result of Guam Power Authority islandwide power system upgrades, the study indicates that these proposed activities “would result in the use of slightly more hazardous materials as compared with existing quantities,” to include the use of petroleum, oil, and lubricants for “heavy equipment, vehicles, generators, and related activities.”
The military buildup report estimates 750 lbs. of hazardous materials “would be generated annually from these activities.”
The impact report said increases in the use of hazardous waste are “judged to be negligible as a result of these existing potable water upgrade activities.”
This conclusion, however, contradicts a recent report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
According to EPA, eight facilities on Guam were found to have an 8 percent increase in toxic chemicals released into the air, land and water in 2008 when compared to 2007, according to new data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Overall at 53, Guam ranks among one of the lowest of 56 states and territories in total releases.
While the island's water and land releases have increased since 2007, underground injection, off-site transfers, and air releases have decreased. The largest increase was of on-site land releases of 1,048 pounds, largely due to increased releases reported by Andersen Air Force Base in Yigo.
Facilities found with increased toxic releases were Guam Power Authority,
Hawaiian Rock Products Guam, Mobil Oil Guam Inc. (Cabras Island terminal), Shell Guam, South Pacific Petroleum Corp., Tanguisson Power Plant, US Air Force Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base (Apra Harbor WWTP).
“We encourage people to use data from the Toxics Release Inventory in order to gain a better understanding of what is being released into their neighborhoods,” said Laura Yoshii, acting EPA administrator for the Pacific Southwest region.
“Industry and communities informed with accurate information can use the inventory as a starting point to find opportunities to reduce the amount of pollutants released into the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we enjoy.”
The data comes from the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory. It’s one of EPA’s largest publicly available databases, arming communities with valuable information on more than 650 toxic chemicals released by various industries. The chemical information in the inventory is calculated by industrial facilities and reported to the EPA, as required by law.
Total releases include toxic chemicals discharged by facilities to air, water, land, and underground, and the amount transferred off-site for disposal. Regulatory controls apply to many of the reported releases. Reporting facilities must comply with environmental standards set by local, state and federal agencies.