CNMI expects to get $5M for CUC projects next week


Pursuant to a federal court’s final order, the CNMI government is required by Feb. 1, 2016, to deposit $5 million into the U.S. District Court for the NMI’s registry or file a notice with the court of an authorization to proceed from the U.S. Department of the Interior for funding to some Commonwealth Utilities Corp. projects.

In the CNMI government’s status report regarding the Commonwealth’s grant funding filed in District Court on Thursday, assistant attorney general Teresita J. Sablan said the Commonwealth expects DOI to issue an authorization to proceed for $5 million by Feb. 1.

Last Nov. 13, the government submitted an amended Fiscal Year 2016 Commonwealth Improvement Projects spending plan to DOI’s Office of Insular Affairs to include the $5 million funding requirement for Stipulated Order 2 projects.

Sablan said the $5 million FY 2016 grant will be used for cleanup, inspection and repair of Tank 103 ($730,614), CUC pipeline construction ($3,887,161), and construction management by Engineering Environmental Management Company (382,225).

Sablan aid OIA is currently reviewing the 2016 grant applications for these SO2 projects.

After OIA’s review, she said, the grant applications will be passed on to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for National Environmental Policy Act review and a recommendation to issue an authorization to proceed.

Sablan said provided that no issues arise in the review process, OIA expects to issue an authorization to proceed for $5 million by Feb. 1, 2016.

Sablan also disclosed that the government submitted the 2017 grant applications to OIA that seek $4,979,570 funding for SO2 projects.

The SO2 projects are decommissioning of the existing CUC pipeline and smart pigging of the new CUC pipeline (720,729); waste management for Power Plants 1 and 2 on Saipan and Rota power plant ($2,389,626); engineering and design of facility drainage improvements for Power Plants 1 and 2 ($896,773); soil cleanup for Power Plant 1 (607,324), and SO2 construction management by EEMC (365,118).

Sablan said the applications are pending review by OIA, and no authorization has been issued yet.

Sablan said pursuant to the final order, the authorization to proceed is due on or before Feb. 1, 2017.

Meanwhile, U.S. District Court for the NMI designated Judge David O. Carter was set to visit yesterday CUC’s controversial pipeline project site. In his order last week, Carter said EEMC will only accompany him during the visit.

Gilbane Federal is a California-based full service construction company that was appointed by federal court to serve as EEMC and tasked to expeditiously complete some stalled CUC projects.

Carter also set a status conference today, Monday, at 9am regarding progress on the pipeline project and the Tank 102 project.

The oil pipeline project is an 8-inch aboveground receiving pipeline that delivers diesel fuel from the Mobil oil facility to CUC Power Plants 1 and 2 in Lower Base. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had stated that until the pipeline is properly repaired or replaced, it poses a threat to the adjacent ocean.

Tank 102 project involves a 500,000-gallon diesel fuel tank that will replace Tank 010.

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

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.