Funds meet stipulated order agreements for power plant cleanup on Saipan
WASHINGTON – U.S. Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Doug Domenech has approved $5 million in Capital Infrastructure Program (CIP) grant funding to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), for fiscal year 2018. The funding provided will be used to support the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation in meeting court-stipulated requirements. Funds this year will be used towards the planning, design and installation of new systems, equipment, and practices to improve management of nonhazardous solid and liquid waste materials at power plants 1 and 2 on Saipan. The project will also consider the possibility of accepting some waste materials from the Rota power plant.
“The Department of the Interior is pleased to provide continued support to Governor Torres and his administration in meeting requirements that will continue the necessary work of improving infrastructure and safety, as well as meeting environmental standards necessary to protect the public,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech.
This is the fourth and final year of funding support provided through the Office of Insular Affairs in support of the CNMI government meeting Stipulated Order Number Two originally entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands on March 11, 2009. The 2009 order required certain projects, many infrastructure-related, to be completed relating to spill prevention, preparedness, and response.
Public Law 104-134, enacted in 1996, provides for the CIP funding, which is disbursed among American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Over the years, each of the territories has used this mandatory appropriation to fund projects addressing a variety of critical infrastructure needs such as hospitals, schools, wastewater and solid waste systems.
The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for coordinating federal policy with respect to the territories of the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and administering and overseeing U.S. Compact federal grants provided to the freely associated states of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. On behalf of the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs executes these responsibilities through the Office of Insular Affairs.