Saipan – Until it is properly repaired or replaced, an oil pipeline of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. is posing a threat to United States waters, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the Saipan Tribune, EPA counsel Bradley R. O’Brien filed a report yesterday in federal court, stating that the CUC pipeline has been poorly maintained and has degraded to a condition that is no longer safe to operate at pressure.
O’Brien underscored the need for CUC to identify and secure a funding source for the pipeline replacement.
The CUC pipeline is an eight-inch above ground receiving pipeline that delivers fuel to CUC power plants 1 and 2 in Lower Base from the Mobil oil facility.
The pipeline is about a mile in length and begins at the marine terminal. At various times, it reportedly runs within 100 feet of the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
The second joint stipulation entered by EPA and CUC established a new June 1, 2011, construction deadline for this pipeline project.
As early as November 2010, CUC already expected it won’t be able to meet that deadline due to lack of funding.