Representatives of the CNMI Interisland Solid Waste Management Task Force, including staff from the Office of Planning and Development, Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, and the Department of Public Works, were in Guam from April 3 to 10 to share information with the Guam Environmental Protection Agency and to learn more about Guam’s sustainability efforts.
Led by Guam EPA Solid Waste program manager Glenn San Nicolas, OPD, BECQ, and DPW learned more about Guam EPA’s rules and regulations and toured various solid waste sites in Guam to support “zero waste” planning and project implementation initiatives underway in the CNMI. Later in the week, CNMI staff attended the 2022 University of Guam Conference on Island Sustainability, which featured many guest panels and sessions focused on sustainability, the environment, and more.
The lessons learned during the trip are very important to support the solid waste planning and management work that the ISWMT is currently supporting. For example, learning more about Guam EPA’s rules and regulations provided BECQ with policies and strategies they could consider implementing into their own rules and regulations. For OPD and DPW, learning more about Guam’s solid waste sites will help guide solid waste coordinators with their current and future planning and implementation work, which includes supporting long-term waste management strategies and facilitating action items such as writing grants and coordinating trainings for staff and CNMI community members to achieve “zero waste” and waste diversion objectives, related to Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) #12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
As detailed in the CNMI’s first Comprehensive Sustainable Development Plan, objectives under SDG# 12 include developing an integrated waste management plan by 2025 and diverting at least 50% of the CNMI’s recyclable waste away from CNMI landfills. The diverted waste will then be composted, reused, or sold to support sustainable waste management systems.
More details about the SDGs are in the Comprehensive Sustainable Development Plan found here: https://opd.gov.mp/assets/2021-2030_cnmi_csdp.pdf.
The Guam trip was made possible through Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act funding administered by the U.S. EPA. Since Super Typhoon Yutu severely impacted CNMI’s waste management streams and infrastructure in 2018, EPA has funded and supported effective hazardous and solid waste management and capacity building efforts in the CNMI.
Quarterly task forces meeting set for
On April 26 OPD will be hosting the next quarterly Planning Task Forces meeting. OPD and other task force partners will be providing planning and project implementation updates. To learn more or RSVP to attend, contact email@example.com.
The meeting will feature highlights of federal funding opportunities through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and CNMI priorities that were discussed at the Office of Insular Affairs’ Territorial Infrastructure and Climate Conference at the end of March. OPD and planning partners will share information and request feedback relevant to “Zero Waste” in addition to other sustainability goals and objectives of the CNMI’s CSDP.
Those seeking to learn more about ongoing projects and other current events can visit the OPD website at opd.gov.mp and can email firstname.lastname@example.org. (PR)