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EPA assists Guam EPA in removing old pesticides

Release Date: 6/28/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

HONOLULU - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently assisted the Guam Environmental Protection Agency in removing 15 drums of old pesticides in Mangilao, Guam that may have posed a hazard to the environment.

Guam EPA inspectors discovered the drums during a routine hazardous waste inspection at the Guam Department of Agriculture facility at Mangilao, Guam, and then asked U.S. EPA for help in removing and disposing of the drums. The condition of the pesticide containers inside of the drums was unknown and the metal drums were deteriorated, but the majority of the plastic drums were in relatively good condition. Most of drums had poison, biohazard and hazardous waste labels and dates of 1995-1998.

The EPA's Superfund program paid for the removal, with a total estimated cost of $309,392.

"It was critical to dispose of these containers as it was not known what kind of pesticides are in the drums," said Christopher Weden, the EPA's on-scene coordinator for the removal. "The pesticides were no longer usable and could eventually begin to leak and cause a larger environmental and public health problem."

Weden supervised the packing and temporary storage of the chemicals until they could be shipped to proper hazardous waste facilities, currently scheduled for August.

"The Guam EPA can always ask the EPA for assistance in situations that may need specialized help or technical expertise," said John McCarroll, manager of EPA Pacific Southwest Region's Pacific Islands Office.

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