Congress allocates $2.5M to clean NMI’s contaminated military sites

Congress has allocated $2.5 million for the cleanup of three formerly used defense sites in the CNMI this year.

Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said he was able to secure the appropriation from the Defense Environmental Restoration Program, which is the source of the funding.

The lawmaker said the FUDS, as the military sites are known, “were contaminated by military activity during and after World War II.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for doing the cleanup, he added.

One site is Tanapag Fuel Farm, which will get an allocation of $1.525 million. The project consists of the removal of 17 aboveground fuel storage tanks and then a study of any remaining contamination.

The cleanup effort in Marpi Point Field will get $343,200 and will involve a study of the extent and types of unexploded ordnances on the property.

The biological survey and digital mapping are in progress and should be completed by the end of March, Sablan said.

The third site is a hospital dumpsite located at the Kingfisher Golf Links. Cleanup efforts will get a funding of $587,300, including a study to determine the extent of contamination and whether there are any risks to human health. The study is also expected to be completed this year.

Sablan said there are still five other FUDS sites on Saipan that require remediation. These include the Koblerville Naval Supply Center, Naftan Bomb Storage, Naftan Ordnance Disposal, Northfield, and Ordnance Plan.

Previous cleanup projects, including the Tanapag Village removal of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), Kagman Airfield, and Edoni have been completed.

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Joel D. Pinaroc | Reporter
Joel Pinaroc worked for a number of newspapers in the Philippines before joining the editorial team of Saipan Tribune. His published articles include stories on information technology, travel and lifestyle, and motoring, among others. Contact him at joel_pinaroc@saipantribune.com.

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