Fate of Guam’s case to hold the United States liable for its share of cleaning up Ordot Dump now rests with Supreme Court Justices

Fate of Guam’s case to hold the United States liable for its share of cleaning up Ordot Dump now rests with Supreme Court Justices 

Justices are expected to decide whether to accept Ordot dump appeal in January 2021

December 24, 2020 – Tamuning, Guam- Guam continued its push before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to hold the United States Navy accountable for its share of dumping toxic waste at Ordot Dump. In a Reply Brief filed today, Guam argued that the Supreme Court should accept the case in order to resolve conflicting decisions between the federal courts on when the statute of limitations under environmental laws such as Comprehensive, Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) begin to run. 

In opposing Supreme Court review, the United States did not deny the importance to the people of Guam of the D.C. Circuit’s decision holding that a Consent Decree under the Clean Water Act triggered the time to file a claim under CERCLA, a separate federal statute. Guam emphasizes in its brief that the D.C. Circuit’s decision “saddles Guam—alone—with a staggering $160 million bill for the cleanup of a dump built and exploited by the United States for decades,” an amount that “exceeds the combined yearly budget for Guam’s Department of Public Health and Social Services, Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Public Works, Solid Waste Authority, and Environmental Protection Agency.”

The briefs will be circulated to the Justices for discussion at their January 8, 2021 conference with a decision from the Court on whether it will hear the case shortly thereafter. 

View the Reply Brief by clicking here.