(RoyalPatriot.com )- With a new conservative majority in the Supreme Court, a ruling was made on Monday that the United States territory of Guam will be able to pursue a $160 million lawsuit that was filed against the federal government over the huge cost of cleaning up a landfill site on the small island.
Supreme Court Justices voted unanimously on Monday to overturn a decision made by a lower court that the territory had taken too long to pursue the claim in the courts, given that the landfill is roughly 80 years old.
It’s certainly an interesting case, and one that’s likely to hit the news a few more times before over the span of the suit.
Specifically, the case relates to a dispute over Guam’s Ordot Dump. According to the lawsuit, the dump was made by the United States Navy in the 1940s, and was later used to deposit toxic waste from the military. Later, control of the dump was handed over to Guam – and to this day, the dump requires ongoing maintenance to keep it safe.
The case gets a little complicated as the dump was used by Guam for several decades after, with the United States government arguing that Guam “vastly expanded” on the facility and didn’t provide even basic environmental safeguards.
Guam was sued by the federal government in 2002 because of the pollution coming out of the dump, and in 2004, the territory agreed to close it for good.
But then, in 2017, Guam filed a lawsuit back at the United States and insisted that the federal government is responsible to help pay for the maintenance and clearing up of the dump. Some estimates say that it could cost as much as $160 million to fully clean it up.
Gregory Garre, the attorney representing Guam, said they are “thrilled” with the decision and that it “paves the way” for the federal government to pay a “fair share” of the costs of closing and cleaning up the dump.
And they might be in luck – President Joe Biden is known for spending sprees.