CUC transfers $475K to O&M account


The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has transferred $475,000 to its operations and maintenance programs account, or O&M, which CUC had set up last year at the recommendation of the U.S. government to better ensure that the millions of funds CUC receives from the federal and the CNMI governments for projects are spent properly in the future.

CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho recently informed assistant attorney general Jose S. P. Mafnas Jr., who is CUC’s legal counsel, that CUC transferred the amount to the O&M Account last Aug. 3 to fund operations and maintenance or infrastructure activities under Stipulated Order No. 2, or SO2, which refers to court-mandated projects that focus on oil issues and apply to oil spills and the remediation of the contaminated power plants.

Camacho said that CUC was required to transfer funds to the O&M Account on or before July 31, 2020, pursuant to a court order. However, the executive director said, the transfer of the money was delayed due to an oversight made by CUC’s accounting section.

Mafnas notified the District Court last week about the transfer of funds.

The U.S. government, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and CUC have agreed that CUC shall implement O&M activities according to industry standards.

Under the agreement, beginning on July 31, 2019, and every year after that, CUC shall infuse $475,00 per year to the O&M Account for 10 years. At a minimum, the funding must be reserved to address large-scale O&M activities that occur on five-year or 10-year cycles, such as smart pigging and tank inspections.

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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