Sen. Jesse A. Lujan chairman of the Committee on Aviation Immigration Labor and Housing of the 28th Guam Legislature denies any conflict of interest regarding two pieces of legislation that he introduced in March 2005 which were due for consideration on the floor the week of Jan. 16.
The bills would assist landowners in Dandan should a new landfill be constructed in that location.
On May 22 2002 Cyfred Ltd. obtained more than 2 million square meters of land in Dandan designated as Lot 275. According to Guam Election Commission financial disclosure reports filed after the 2004 elections Lujan owns $1.7 million of equity in Cyfred. Lujan introduced the legislation in March 2005. Cyfred held title to property that a Department of Land Management map indicates is just west of the proposed Dandan landfill site.
Kabushiki Kaisha T.G.C. a Japanese corporation last held the title to the Dandan property measured at 2 080 689 square meters. On May 22 2002 Kabushiki Kaisha then deeded the property to Cyfred Ltd.
Lujan told the Journal that he has always disclosed his connection to Cyfred and the property in Dandan. He said “It’s been fully disclosed — even as far back as the 27th Guam Legislature.” He said when members of the 27th Guam Legislature voted on a measure that would not allow a landfill to be built in Dandan he recused himself from the vote “I asked to be excused from the vote because I have property up there.” He said he was criticized in the media at the time for not voting on the measure.
Lujan said Cyfred bought the property from a bank because it was under foreclosure. He said the land is zoned to accommodate a planned unit development but Cyfred has since requested to “down zone” it to an agricultural designation. “It was slated for two 18-hole golf courses with hotels condominiums and things like that. We don’t develop that that’s not our thing.” According to Lujan Cyfred wanted to utilize the land for farming but he said the Guam Environmental Protection Agency did not agree and opposed the proposal “They gave us a letter telling us that we could not use that property for farming because it could affect the water shed when we use fertilizers.”
Lujan said “If I write a bill that would improve Marine Drive would I have to recuse myself because the road runs in front of my office?”
Lujan said that the bills are intended to help landowners anywhere a landfill will be constructed. “This is in general. Bills 104 and 105 are general bills. They don’t say Dandan … it says any landfill.”
Bill 104 requires the government of Guam to pay for possible future risks such as healthcare costs income loss or relocation. The senator said “104 basically holds everyone accountability to the workmanship that we have here on Guam.
“We’ve seen the workmanship on the roads and we sign off on it and we build it like in Tumon. Now we have to go back in and repair it and pay millions of dollars. There are people that are telling us about the landfill that is going to be built and that it will adhere to strict standards and it is the latest in technology. Bill 104 provides strict liability.”
According to Lujan Bill 105 protects people from a decrease in land value if a landfill is built nearby. “The government has an obligation to be able to compensate you for the decrease in the value of your property.”
Lujan said “This will benefit everybody from Yona to Inarajan. Sen. Judi Won Pat will benefit from this legislation because she lives in Inarajan and so will Sen. Frank Aguon because the trucks will be passing his home every day.”
Bill 104 states “Occupants of property in areas where new solid waste transfer processing or landfill operations are constructed or maintained are entitled to compensation and damages for any and all untoward health effects suffered subsequent to such construction or operations.”
The bill also says “All government contracts leases or other similar agreements with private entities to construct operate or maintain solid waste handling or facilities shall include constructive obligation provisions to compensate affected occupants for health care loss of income and relocation arising from the private entity’s acts or omissions and require evidence of a surety bond or other insurance policy to cover this contingency. Where the government of Guam owns or operates such facility all direct medical and relocation costs and loss of income suffered by affected occupants shall be paid without regard to the limits of the government claims act.”
Bill 104 indicates a bond should be put up to support future risks “All private service and materials suppliers consultants and financial parties-in-interest with respect to construction management operation closing or post-closing monitoring of a new landfill or solid waste processing center remain jointly and severally liable for environmental damage or degradation caused by such facilities and operations. The government of Guam shall not indemnify any private entity from liability for municipal solid waste facilities constructed operated closed or monitored by private entities in the public interest. A performance bond to cover this contingent obligation shall be required of private entities contracted by or permitted to operate by the government of Guam. Where the government of Guam owns or operates such facility restoration of public lands and resources to pre-landfill or solid waste facility condition shall be accomplished with such budgeted appropriations and fees collected to cover current year operating expenses; continuing restoration and remediation costs shall be detailed in subsequent budget requests. Notwithstanding the provisions of 4 GCA Chapter 3 concerning liability of officers and employees failure by any responsible government employee or official to prevent environmental damage or degradation to these protected natural environments or to expeditiously address same once detected shall be dismissed from government service for cause. Nothing in this Section shall be interpreted to prevent or dissuade private landowners from developing their private properties or to diminish the responsibilities of landfill or solid waste facility operators to prevent and mitigate environmental degradation on subsequently developed private lands.”
Lujan introduced Bill 105 which would also have a direct benefit to landowners with property near a landfill. Section 2 of Bill 105 reads “Owners of real property in areas where new solid waste transfer processing or landfill operations are constructed or maintained are entitled to compensation for any diminution or suppression of property value attributable to such construction or operations. Determination of property value shall be made by no fewer than two (2) licensed real estate appraisers. Such loss of property value shall be considered evidence of taking for public purposes subject to inverse condemnation. The government of Guam shall not indemnify any private contractor manager consultant operator or financial party-in-interest from liability for solid waste management facilities constructed and operated in the public interest. All government contracts leases or other similar agreements with private entities to construct operate or maintain solid waste handling or facilities shall include constructive obligation provisions to compensate affected landowners for economic loss arising from the private entity’s acts or omissions and require evidence of a surety bond or other current insurance policy to cover this contingency. Where the government of Guam owns or operates such facility compensation shall be made pursuant to the government claims act by specific appropriation with a tax liability abatement or value-for-value exchange of real property based on pre-affectation valuation of affected land.” MBJ