GUAM – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the U.S. Navy has successfully completed a 2011 Federal Facilities Compliance Agreement (FFCA) at Naval Base Guam. For over 12 years and at a cost of $130 million, the Navy carried out significant infrastructure upgrades to the Apra Harbor Wastewater Treatment Plant and sewer system along with modifications to a water plant. In addition, the Navy improved pollution monitoring and completed technical studies.
“EPA appreciates the Navy’s important accomplishment in fulfilling the compliance agreement and finishing a range of projects to protect Tipalao Bay and Apra Harbor,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “The completion of this work is critical to preserving public health, water quality, and coral reefs in Guam.”
“We value the partnership with the EPA over the years to assist us with our compliance responsibilities. The successful completion of the FFCA shows our commitment to environmental compliance that meets or exceeds applicable local and federal environmental laws, regulations, and policies,” said Capt. Michael Luckett, Naval Base Guam commanding officer. “The Navy is committed to being good stewards of the environment. We will continue working with our community partners to help preserve and protect our natural resources and environment in which we live and work.”
In November 2008, under the Clean Water Act and EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program, EPA issued a Finding of Violation at Naval Base Guam covering the discharge from the Apra Harbor Wastewater Treatment Plant. Additionally, EPA found discharge exceedances from leaking sewer collection pipes and inadequate treatment from ship bilge (waste holding area) collection systems. On March 25, 2011, EPA and the Navy entered into an FFCA.
EPA conducted an inspection in February 2023 and verified that the Navy had completed all requirements of the agreement, including:
Upgrading the Apra Harbor Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Instituting a base-wide pollution prevention program to minimize the release of metals, oils, and other pollutants into the sewer system.
Constructing and operating a bilge oily water treatment system to treat ship discharges.
Modifying the drinking water plant to curtail the discharge of aluminum-based treatment chemicals into the sewers and to prevent the leaching of copper from household piping.
Replacing and rehabilitating over 30 miles of sewer pipes, hundreds of sewer manholes, force mains, and pump stations.
Completion of the agreement means the discharge from the Naval Base Guam’s Apra Harbor Wastewater Treatment Plant is now meeting Clean Water Act requirements.