More than a year after Gov. Eddie Calvo instructed the Guam Environmental Protection Agency to test for traces of Agent Orange, a hazardous defoliant, actual sampling and testing have yet to take place but a work plan is now being developed.
Guam EPA public information officer Nic Rupley on Friday said a contractor hired by the military is now finalizing a work plan, which serves as a guide for sampling, how the testing will be carried out and how the outcome will be interpreted, among other things.
Rupley said Guam EPA has been working with the Department of Defense on the Agent Orange investigation. He said the military awarded a contract to develop the work plan, but a contract for the field work, which includes actual sampling and testing, has yet to be awarded.
Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje wrote a Feb. 1 letter to Guam EPA Administrator Walter Leon Guerrero, seeking an update on the Agent Orange investigation that the governor asked the agency to conduct in January 2017.
"I am hoping that we can shed light on this investigation in order to find answers for our residents and veterans," Terlaje wrote. Local residents, she said, have stated that family members who worked on military properties have since died from cancer.