Former DEQ director Masga is CUC’s new manager for oil


Ray Masga

Former Division of Environmental Quality director Ray S. Masga is the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s new technical manager for oil.

In an interview yesterday, Masga said he resigned last November from DEQ, where he had been a director for four years. Masga worked for DEQ for 20 years.

“I want to give the young guys a chance to move up at DEQ,” he said, adding that he considers his move to CUC a challenge.

As TMO, Masga said he’s been busy. He described it as a very challenging job.

The TMO position had been unfilled since Feb. 13, 2019, when Maximino Simian resigned to accept an off-island job offer.

U.S. Department of Justice Environmental Enforcement Section senior attorney Bradley R. O’Brien said in his recent report to the U.S. District Court for the NMI that CUC historically sustains lengthy vacancies in management positions, impeding CUC’s operations and compliance with stipulated federal court orders.

However, since their August 2019 conference with CUC, it has managed to fill the positions of TMO, chief engineer, and drinking water and wastewater division manager, O’Brien said.

The only remaining unfilled position is the wastewater treatment plant supervisor, O’Brien said. That position has been vacant since February 2019 when Richard Wasser left for an off-island job.

The lawyer said it continues to be critical that CUC retain persons who meet the Stipulated Order Number 1 qualifications and fill any vacancies in a timely manner.

SO1 focuses on drinking water and wastewater issues. It also restructures CUC’s organization to reflect a typically functioning utility and requires that key employees possess appropriate education and experience levels.

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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