The Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation last Thursday appropriated over $2.3 million for the construction of Cell 3 of the Marpi landfill.
House Local Bill 20-20, which passed the delegation with amendments, appropriates over $2.3 million from the Developers Infrastructure Tax Fund for the “much needed” Cell 3 of the Marpi landfill. That resolves U.S. Environmental Protection Act concerns about the need to close the landfill’s Cell 2 and open Cell 3.
According to Public Law 14-32, Saipan’s Developers Infrastructure Tax Fund may only be used for infrastructure improvements such as electrical, water, sewage, road drainage and flood control, and solid waste management.
HLB 20-20 originally appropriated $2 million for the Marpi landfill but Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan) offered an amendment to add $380,840 for the construction of solid waste transfer stations in Kagman and other southern areas on Saipan.
“This appropriation will finally bring much needed relief to residents in the southern villages of Saipan and the residents of Kagman and nearby areas by providing a transfer station for them to dispose of their refuse without having to make the long trip to the Marpi landfill,” said Demapan, adding that the construction of the transfer stations would “greatly benefit our residents who don’t have regular access to regularly transport their refuse to the Marpi landfill.”
“…By providing these two transfer stations, we hope to deter illegal dumping within our villages,” he said.
A previous letter from Public Works Secretary James A. Ada told the Legislature that the multiple developments all over Saipan ultimately results with more waste.
“It appears that Saipan’s economy is moving quickly in a vibrant and positive direction. And with all the proposed hotels in the planning and construction stages, it means more waste will be generated from [construction and designs], tourism, and guests. Eventually, [the trash] would end up at the landfill,” said Ada.
According to Ada’s letter, Cell 1 of the Marpi landfill has reached its final stage and there is a desperate need to expand to Cell 2. However, before Cell 2 could be opened up, Cell 3 must first be lined to prevent the migration of leachate or contaminants from reaching clean underground water.