By Associated Press - Tuesday, November 18, 2014

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) - The Guam Environmental Protection Agency wants a couple to pay $7.5 million for an illegal dump on their property that caught fire and forced the evacuation of several families.

The agency is asking a court to order Joseph Taitano and his wife, Rosalind Castro, to pay for damage, cleanup costs and other penalties for a dump on their property in Yigo, Pacific Daily News ( reported.

A judgment for the court’s consideration should be ready sometime this week, agency Administrator Eric Palacios said.

“We’re looking at all assets,” Palacios said of wanting to collect as much money from the couple as possible to pay for the cleanup. It’s important to clean up the site because waste could contaminate groundwater, he said.

The dump caught fire in 2010, and noxious fumes forced the evacuation of at least six families. Containing the fire cost the Guam government $250,000.

Taitano said the waste on his property was dumped there by a local construction company with permission from the agency. The company dumped there without his knowledge for a decade because he was often away from the island, he said.

Taitano said he plans to fight the order.


Information from: Pacific Daily News:

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