EPA: No CUC violation in drinking water regs in 2016


The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. did not violate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s water regulations in 2016, according to EPA inspector John Tinger.

In his declaration, Tinger stated that CUC reported compliance with all primary drinking water quality standards in 2016 and did not have any case of exceeding total coliform standards in 2016.

E. coliform is a fecal bacteria and is an indication of sewage or animal waste contamination. It is an indicator of potential drinking water contamination but is not, in itself, an immediate health risk, according to EPA.

Tinger said that in June 2012, CUC violated EPA’s primary drinking water regulations for E. coliform in the Koblerville area due to leaks and disrupted water service.

Since 2012, CUC reported compliance with E. coliform standards, said the EPA inspector in his declaration.

Tinger’s declaration was filed in federal court in support of the U.S. government’s February 2017 status report about CUC projects.

CUC did violate EPA’s primary drinking water regulations for total coliform bacteria since 2012 but steps were immediately taken to remedy the situation. Tinger cited that in four separate instances, CUC exceeded total coliform standards due to leaks, disrupted water service, and in one case, heavy rains.

He said CUC addressed the problem by fixing the leak and flushing the water distribution system, bringing the utilities agency to compliance.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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