A new investigative task force will “review and record reports from the community” on the use of polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCB, DDT and Agent Orange on Guam, Sen. Fernando Esteves announced in a news release Jan. 10.
Esteves, who serves as vice-chairman of the Guam Legislature’s Committee on Health, will be joined on the task force by Sen. Dennis Rodriguez Jr., the committee's chairman, and Sen. Louisa Borja Muna.
The task force will reach out to the community, review records and compile recent research data, Esteves said, and will attempt "to correlate these environmental pollutants with an array of congenital health problems that plague our island.”
“For example, if certain diseases are attributed to specific hazardous constituents, then we want to correlate that with a mix of subjective and objective historical data about the surrounding area,” Esteves said. “Much work has been done over the years. ... It is our intention to bridge the various entities and compile their findings with ours.”
Due to small spikes in PCB contamination levels, the Coast Guard has begun the federal regulatory process for procuring a contract for environmental remediation service on Cocos Island. The Coast Guard hopes to begin physical remediation work of the area in 2017.