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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. Navy upgrades Guam’s Apra Harbor wastewater treatment following 2011 agreement with EPA

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Alejandro Diaz (

GUAM – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the U.S. Navy has completed Phase I of significant upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant and sewage collection system at Naval Base Guam. These updates were made following a 2011 Federal Facility Compliance Agreement (FFCA) between the EPA and the Navy.

“The upgrades at the Apra Harbor sewage treatment facilities are critical to protecting public health and water quality in Guam," said EPA Pacific Southwest Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division Director Amy Miller. “This is a significant milestone in the Navy meeting their long-term commitments to improve their wastewater treatment plant and collection system.”

“The Navy is committed to sustainable environmental stewardship and compliance with all Federal law and local regulations,” said Naval Base Guam Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Grimes. “Our Environmental Management System program allows us to achieve strategic compliance objectives with the ultimate goal of ensuring compliance, preventing pollution, and reducing risk while accomplishing our mission. We would like to thank the EPA for working with us to meet the FFCA requirements and we look forward to the completion of wastewater infrastructure upgrades which will significantly help to protect Guam’s fragile and unique environment.”

The EPA and Navy entered into the FFCA to address effluent violations at the treatment plant for solids, biological materials, and metals including aluminum, copper, nickel and zinc. The Navy agreed to upgrade its wastewater infrastructure to bring the facilities into full compliance with the Clean Water Act.  

The treatment system now has the capacity to treat six million gallons per day of wastewater generated at the Naval Base by residents, service members deployed to the area and their families, and the industrial support activities.

The Navy completed Phase I of the agreement which included upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant. The Navy also instituted a base-wide pollution prevention program to minimize the release of metals, oils, and other pollutants into the sewer system. To further reduce discharges of aluminum and copper, the Navy has modified the drinking water plant to curtail the loss of aluminum-based treatment chemicals and to prevent the leaching of copper from household piping.

The Navy continues to implement Phase II of the compliance agreement focusing on the replacement and rehabilitation of pipes, manholes, force mains, and pump stations along 30 miles of deteriorated sections of the sewage collection system.

To date, the upgrades have cost approximately $82 million and the Navy expects to spend another $46 million to complete the wastewater infrastructure projects. Completion of Phase II is expected by February 2021.

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