CNMI put up $25M to complete projects

The CNMI government has met its $25-million funding obligation to complete court-mandated projects that would enable the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. to comply with Stipulated Order 2, according to deputy attorney general Lillian Ada Tenorio last Wednesday.

SO2 refers to court-mandated CUC projects that focus on oil issues and also apply to oil spills and the remediation of the contaminated power plants.

In the CNMI’s grant funding status report filed before the U.S. District Court for the NMI, Tenorio disclosed that the CNMI government deposited $5 million into the Court Registry on Dec. 31, 2014. The registry was established by the federal court.

To meet the 2015 obligation of $2.8 million, Tenorio said the government filed with the court on Feb. 13, 2015, a notice of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s authorization to proceed for funding SO2 projects for $2,648,082 for the pipeline project.

DOI then pledged an additional $151,918 for the CNMI.

A third notice of authorization to proceed meant the CNMI satisfied its funding obligation of providing $2.8 million for SO2 projects in 2015.

As for the 2016 obligation of $5 million, Tenorio said the CNMI filed its first notice of authorization to proceed from DOI for $3,887,161 on March 3, 2016.

A second notice of authorization to proceed from DOI for the sum of $382,225 for Engineering Environmental Management Company (EEMC) construction management was filed on March 9, 2016.

DOI then issued a third notice of authorization to proceed for the sum of $730,614 for the Tank 103 repair project.

For the 2017 obligation of $5 million, Tenorio said the government filed its notice of authorization from DOI for $777,000 on March 22, 2017.

The second notice of authorization to proceed for $4,019,000 was filed on March 28, 2017.

Tenorio said the third notice of authorization to proceed for the remaining $204,000 was filed on March 30, 2017.

Pertaining to the final $5 million funding for 2018, Tenorio said it was satisfied with the filing of the notice of authorization to proceed for $5 million.

The government filed the report pursuant to U.S. District Court for the NMI designated Judge David O. Carter’s order.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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