CNMI: U.S. EPA Rejects CUC Reorganization Plan; Emergency Extended

209

Guam – Acting CNMI governor Eloy S. Inos extended anew the emergency declaration for the Commonwealth Utilities Corp, citing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rejection of CUC’s reorganization plan.

The CUC reorganization plan is one of the requirements in the stipulated orders representing the agreement between the CNMI and EPA for CUC to comply with the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Inos said he will be meeting today with CUC and the Office of the Attorney General to discuss EPA’s disapproval of the reorganization plan.

EPA fined CUC $140,000 in June for failing to submit such plan to bring CUC’s wastewater plants, collection systems, and public drinking water systems into compliance.

CUC has been under a state of emergency since August 2008, suspending its procurement, among other things, to address its emergency needs in the areas of power, water, and wastewater.

The state of emergency declaration is expected to be lifted once all requirements of the stipulated orders are satisfied. EPA has given the CNMI until November 2011 to address all concerns raised in the two stipulated orders.