Hagåtña, Guam – The Government of Guam was awarded $6,460,333 to design and construct a 12,000-square-foot main facility for the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) Division of Environmental Health. Governor Lou Leon Guerrero received notice of the award this week during her meeting with Department of Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen G. Cantor. The site for the facility is adjacent to the DPHSS Northern Regional Community Health Center and the Guam Environmental Public Health Laboratory in Dededo.
“The pandemic reinforced the importance of following the health protocols for our individual and community safety. The new Division of Environmental Health facility will provide their professionals with a dedicated training room to better accommodate the annual training of nearly 30,000 people obtaining their health certificates. This will also free up resources to strengthen other environmental health programs,” said Governor Leon Guerrero.
“Since our first year in office, we’ve worked with environmental health officials to secure the funding necessary to make this safety-critical facility a reality. We faced setbacks due to the pandemic, but we worked through the challenges and will soon have a centralized office for environmental health staff and a new processing center that will create an easier and more efficient system to obtain regulatory permits,” said Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio.
In 2019, the Division of Environmental Health was initially awarded $3,077,000 for the project from the DOI-OIA. After experiencing delays, primarily due to the pandemic, DPHSS received authorization to proceed with construction. With the pandemic’s subsequent economic effects, project leaders were met with unanticipated increased construction costs and realized the need to seek additional funding of approximately $9 million total to start and complete the project. The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration worked with the DOI-OIA to secure the additional $6 million needed in Capital Improvement Project grant funding.