Troy Talks: Episode 6 • Chris Duenas has a good idea, so we invited him onto our show

This show rarely will feature elected officials on the set with me, and that’s because elected officials rarely have something valuable to offer the public discourse. Today is the exception. Chris Duenas is pushing legislation that has the potential to reduce homeownership costs for all of us, and to get the economy going from the bottom up.

We’ve discussed this bill – Bill No. 175-37 – a few months ago, when he first introduced the bill. It does a lot of things, but in a nutshell:

This is the current problem:

  • GovGuam generally has sucked for decades, and part of that sucking was having no vision back in the days of the Public Utility Agency of Guam (the forerunner to Guam Waterworks Authority) to build water and sewage pipes into places throughout the northern half that GovGuam knew would be populated with people.
  • The northern villages (generally a portion of Yona through Asan up all the way to Dededo and Yigo) rest on top of the aquifer and the Guam Water Lens, which is the source and filtration system for the majority of the water we drink. Anything we throw – including concentrations of feces and urine – will filter through the water lens and into the aquifer.
  • In order to slow down contamination, the government long ago made it illegal to install a septic tank in any private lot smaller than half an acre, removing so many private properties from the possibility of responsible development and considerably limiting affordable housing development.
  • The reason for the regulation, however, was because septic tanks leak concentrations of effluents which are horrible for the aquifer.
  • The government, however, has never been able to stop people living on properties without sewage system or septic tank hook up from using the bathroom. When nature calls, solid waste is getting deposited on the Guam Water Lens.

Here is a partial explanation of the solution Chris Duenas is proposing through Bill No. 175-37:

  • If passed, his legislation will recognize a Japanese-invented, globally-tested technology that is a significant update from a septic tank. The cost is comparable, but what is released from this leaching field is inert material that will not harm the aquifer.
  • The legislation also will change the half-acre lot size regulation to allow for permitting of this so-called nitrogen-reducing system on quarter-acre lots. This not only will make home construction loans possible for residents who inherited property from their parents, it will double opportunity for the development of affordable housing subdivisions.
  • Those immediate and intermediate impacts will – according to financial and real estate experts – actually reduce the cost of homeownership.

Makes sense, right? Whoa whoa whoa, slow down there, partner. If it makes sense in the government of Guam, it is going to struggle to find the light of day.

This legislation was introduced in September. It was referred to Sabina Perez’s environment committee that month. It took Ms. Perez this long to call a public hearing, which will happen Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Mr. Duenas, who was candid with us on Troy Talks, suspects his colleague has purposely delayed action on the bill because her constituency would be opposed to it.

He’s talking about the people we colloquially call “the activists.” I call them crazy. Obstructionists. People who offer no solutions and, worse, create problems and obstacles to progress. I’m not sure what under what eba tree they dwell, but thousands of people are living in squalor and without proper human waste sanitation. Children are going hungry. A backlog of solutions are bottlenecked at an impasse of poverty, and all the complainers want to do is kumbaya to the sound of their voice and to defend a tree with a virtue signal.

Meanwhile, the people on the ground – they’re literally shitting on that tree.


  • Oliva Santos Anderson

      01/06/2024 at 1:32 PM

    Troy, thank you for hosting “Kandit” Episode 6 with Senator Chris Duenas. Quite informative for the public of Guam and those of us living off Island (Stateside). I am a current landowner in Guam, through a “Decedent Distribution” Court Ordered and Approved Subdivision. My intent was to build on the land I inherited which is sentimental to me. However, GEPA was not approving septic permits for decedent lot size that did not meet the Zoning Laws for Development of Properties. I was told by GEPA to contract the Lawmakers in Guam who are responsible to the Zoning Laws. I felted ostracized. I email letter to the Legislatures in Gaum regarding the disparity in the Zoning Law for Development of Properties. I questioned what source referenced material sites and precludes decedents from building on their property.
    The email response I received was only acknowledging receipt of my email.
    For the January 4, 2024 Public Hearing regarding Bill 175-37, I sent my Written Testimony to both Senator Sabina Perez and Senator Chris Duenas. While online during the Public Hearing, I was “mysteriously” precluded from testimony online, but was told the Committee will send the link to me by email. Waited without receiving the link. The Public Hearing for BILL 175-37 ended.
    I did send the same Written Testimony to Senator James Moylan, Guam Representative in Washington D.C. in hopes that he could intervene and support Bill 175-37 prior to the Public Hearing.
    How much more CRUCIFIXION must Sabina Perez inflict on the people who desire homeownership? She is not GOD!!! I pray that the voters in Guam does not allow her another term in Congress. Passing BILL 175-37 will be a viable solution for the community of Guam.
    Wow! Your Kandit News is a Godsend!!!! Sen Dankulo no Si Yu’os Ma’ase!!!!

  • Oliva Santos Anderson

      01/06/2024 at 2:00 PM

    If the Aquifer system in Guam is degrading due to contaminants, what are the Senators in Legislature and Guam Water Authority doing to remediate the problem?

    They should approve BILL 175-37 and seek technological assistance from Orange County Water System-Ground Water Replenishment System. Orange County in California are able to convert waste water to drinking water for millions of people in the County.

    Some Lawmakers in Guam evidently has exhausted their search and efforts for the good of the community and the people in Guam.

    DWPA learn more visit:

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