EPA vets welding inspectors


Project contractors and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials further discussed yesterday the welding defects slowing down the Tank 102 project, a court-ordered project of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.

The meeting was to update the issue of welding defects found in the Tank 102 project, which began late February this year. CUC reported last month that Tano Group, who is the project’s contractor, was doing x-rays to detect defects on tank welds.

According to EPA on-site coordinator Michelle Rogow, as of yesterday morning, eight of the nine welding test results “look good.”

However, much of the status conference was spent discussing the methodology of these tests and the qualifications of the individuals doing them.

When Saipan Tribune left the conference yesterday, it appeared EPA, Tano Group, and NMI designated judge David O. Carter were set on having vetted the inspectors by Monday.

It was gathered that one of the issues was over Tano Group’s use of ultrasonic testing or UT, over radiographic testing, or RT, testing of welds.

Rogow noted, referring to administrative code, that UT testing was not admissible in some aspects of inspection or construction. Tano Group had used UT, or this three-dimensional testing, to better determine the depth and area of weld defects, which they believed was associated with the annular ring of the tank.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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