March 1, 2023 — Port Authority of Guam General Manager Rory J. Respicio spoke today during the Zero Waste Forum about the successes the Port has had implementing transformative sustainability programs that will have a positive impact on our island for generations to come.
“Sustainable operations and emerging sustainability solutions have been at the forefront of our Administration’s short and long-term goals and vision at the Port,” said General Manager Rory J. Respicio. “This is because of the Leon Guerrero Tenorio Administration’s commitment to implementing zero-waste initiatives. Ports sit at the epicenter of energy transformation worldwide and our Port is embracing the emerging green infrastructure policies and sustainability initiatives expected to come in the next decade.”
The Zero Waste Guam Forum for Mobilization and Implementation was held today at the Hyatt Regency Guam in Tumon. This event is for key stakeholders in Guam’s sustainable solid waste management community to discuss the recent completion of the Guam Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan update and the Zero Waste Master Plan update. Respicio, a member of Guam’s Zero Waste Working Group, spoke to the crowd today about his history as a senator authoring visionary laws nearly 20 years ago that are now being implemented at the commercial sea port, such as the Recycling Revolving Fund and the Recycling Enterprise Zone. These laws support the establishment of the Zero Waste Master Plan, providing a sustainable long-term approach toward establishing a green circular economy and developing a more sustainable, robust, and resilient economy for Guam and our region.
Respicio said that sustainable port development is a critical issue worldwide and has a direct impact on international and domestic freight transportation as well as local and national economic and social development and environmental protection. “The Port has been working diligently to establish policies that foster progress toward developing quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, upgrading infrastructure and retrofitting industries to make them sustainable with
increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmental sound technology and industrial processes,” he said.
The Port has been working on sustainable projects to address air pollution, dust, noise and water pollution, re-use and recycling initiatives; protecting freshwater resources, targeted marine litter initiatives; addressing soil and sediment contamination and protecting habitats and enhancing biodiversity. Also, as a component of the Port’s 2023 Master Plan update the agency is developing a study on the benefits of installing solar panels on port buildings as well as reducing the Port’s reliance on the island’s power grids by utilizing its generator to assist the Guam Power Authority, whenever we have to go off-grid.
General Manager Respicio also pointed out many sustainable initiatives already ongoing at the Port such as the replacement of four terminal tractors with 16 Tier-3 ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) terminal tractors as well as adding eight top lifters at the tier-4 ULSD levels to our fleet. These tier-4 engines are required to run off of ultra-low sulfur diesel which contains only 15 parts per million of sulfur. The switch to the ultralow sulfur diesel terminal tractors has resulted in a drastic reduction in sulfur emissions without a perceptible difference in energy output. Zero Waste was the focus of the ongoing $2.5 Million demolition project to dismantle and properly dispose of massive inoperable assets at the Port Authority of Guam. Every piece of equipment is being cut up and transported off island for recycling. Not a single piece of metal taken from these cranes or any debris from the barges will remain on Guam. Respicio also spoke to the crowd today about the Port’s project that removed the abandoned derelict vessels at the Guam Harbor of Refuge. The physical presence of these abandoned derelict vessels was detrimental to sensitive marine and coastal habitats as they can sink or move during storms, disperse oil and toxic chemicals still on board, and become a source of marine debris. Their removal helped to protect the environment and facilitated renewed use of the harbor. Guam EPA, GPA, the Port as well as the Navy’s Salvage team, worked collaboratively on this very successful project.