The U.S. government recommends a one-year extension for Gilbane Federal, the federal court-appointed Engineering and Environmental Management Company which is tasked to oversee some of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s stalled projects.
U.S. Department of Justice Environmental Enforcement Section senior attorney Bradley O’Brien said the court’s order specifically authorizes extending the EEMC’s term and therefore, its term should be extended approximately one year until Feb. 15, 2021.
In the U.S. government’s January status report about CUC stipulated order projects, O’Brien pointed out that at the August 2018 status conference, one of the topics briefly discussed was extending EEMC’s term.
O’Brien said the U.S. and CNMI governments and CUC continue to make substantial progress in Stipulated Order 2 (SO2), but additional time is needed to efficiently complete the projects using the EEMC funds to the extent possible.
“There should be no dispute that the EEMC term be extended to accomplish these goals,” he said as he noted CUC’s status report stated good things about EEMC’s work.
In December 2014, U.S. District Court for the NMI designated Judge David O. Carter selected Gilbane Federal, a California-based full-service construction company with 64 offices worldwide, as an EEMC which will have the power to expeditiously complete some CUC stalled projects.
In CUC’s January status report, CUC legal counsel James Sirok said that on SO2 projects, he was informed that projects under the outstanding task orders are moving along on a timely basis without any major problems.
Sirok said the parties agree that the remaining and expected EEMC account funds are being utilized efficiently.
“CUC also believes that the parties are progressing toward completion of these priority projects in a positive manner without conflict or dispute between EEMC and CUC,” Sirok said.
Sirok said CUC feels that its work and coordination with the EEMC and with the DOJ and U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, related to specific work being performed, or to be performed, under the various uncompleted task orders, has developed into a very good, strong and cordial team working environment.
SO 1 refers to the court-mandated CUC projects that focus on drinking water and wastewater and the restructuring of CUC’s organization.
SO 2 focuses on oil issues and also applies to oil spills and the remediation of the contaminated power plants.