Live-fire, and landfill issues on mind of Tinian casino investors

Tinian casino investors, the Tinian mayor, U.S. military officials, and other stakeholders reconvene today to seek solutions for Tinian’s open-air dump.

Alter City Group managing director Ken Lin and Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas said last week they would be meeting with U.S. military officials today, Feb. 2., to discuss the cost estimates of shipping this waste off-island.

The open-air dump sits on ACG’s vast Puntan Diablo property and presents a hurdle for them to get their $1.2-billion investment realized.

“It is a dump, it is an open dump,” Lin said. “To us, it’s been an issue for the past two years, but for the people of Tinian, it’s been an issue for the past 45 years.

“We want to cap the dump properly in order for our resort and develop to happen on our site. How can we call it a world class resort with an open dump?”

Lin emphasized the issue was to cap the dump in a proper way.

San Nicolas said they would be receiving a report from the U.S. Marines on landfill study.

“But we need to know what the actual cost of shipping trash to Saipan will be. It is the military who took that task,” San Nicolas said.

“We will be discussing the issue of costs of transferring garbage,” he added.

He acknowledged the dump was a two-side problem of capping the dump and transferring its waste. “But taking it from Tinian and shipping it, we don’t have the numbers as of yet.”

Military issues

On the issue of the U.S military, Lin said they are creating easement roads for the U.S military to travel on.

Lin wants to make clear to military officials that they are “here to stay” and to bring a world-class resort to Tinian. “We want to co-exist with the military,” he said, referring to the military’s live-fire training plans on the island.

Asked if his comments meant they were backing off their strongly worded written comments they submitted on these intensive live-fire plans, Lin said, no.

“The truth is—anybody with a mindset of a 10-year-old will know that—you are not going have peace, tranquility, and a world class resort next to a bombshell. This is just a fact.

“It is a risk for us as investors,” he added.

Lin said they want to sit down and urge the military to reconsider.

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Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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