BEH confirms mold at Guma Hustisia


The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Bureau of Environmental Health confirmed yesterday of the discovery of mold at the Guma Hustisia or the House of Justice building in Susupe.

CHCC public information officer Sami Birmingham-Babauta also disclosed that BEH inspectors revisited the Guma Hustisia building on Monday to examine the mold’s growth over the weekend, if any.

“BEH’s goal is to ensure that there are remedial actions taken to address the mold to provide a clean and safe environment for the employees and patrons that access the Judiciary building day-to-day,” Birmingham-Babauta said.

The building has remained closed to the public since last March 16. The Judiciary announced that the building will remain close to the public this week.

A source said the Judiciary gave masks yesterday to court staff working in the building.

The source said Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho still holds office in his chamber as his staff has to be in the building. Other judges and justices have not stayed long in their chambers, the source said.

The Superior Court has been temporarily holding hearings in a small room at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center and at the Department of Public Safety’s training offices.

Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro and Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja last Monday said alternative locations for judiciary operations and court services will be used until the air-conditioning system at the Judiciary is fully restored.

Birmingham-Babauta said BEH was made aware of the possible detection of mold at Guma Hustisia concurrent with the closure of the building due to a faulty central air-conditioning system.

Birmingham-Babauta said that BEH inspectors did a walk-through last Wednesday, March 21, and discovered mold in the ceiling acoustic panels, walls, chairs, vent grills, cabinet doors, and furniture.

She said the areas in the building identified as most affected were the probation office, courtrooms, and the record and payment office.

Birmingham-Babauta said that, according to the Judiciary’s building superintendent, Gene Weaver, a Guam-based engineering firm, William Miller Associates, was contracted to assess the mold in the building.

She said Weaver stated that the engineering firm has already completed its data collection for mold assessment and a final report is forthcoming.

The information officer said the entire building remains off-limits to the public and nonessential staff.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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