HPO processes 56 clearances for one-start permits


With continued economic developments and earthmoving projects, the Historic Preservation Office has processed an additional 56 clearances for one-start permits.

Historic Preservation officer Mertie Kani stated that HPO review and compliance has reviewed and processed these permit applications from the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality for the three islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota during this reporting period.

For the island of Saipan, HPO has so far processed a total of 451 clearances, while also processing two for Tinian, and three for Rota this fiscal year, Kani said.

“At the close of July, a total of 66 permits were processed. For the month of August, 56 clearances were given. Of these clearances, there are two permit applications that the HPO imposed on the permittees to obtain the services of a professional archaeologist due to the project location’s sensitive archaeological environment. At the end of September, we’ll be able to see if any more developments are seeking clearance and remain compliant,” she said.

Currently, Kani adds, HPO has two Coastal Resource Management major sitting permit project reviews.

“Last month, we’ve had ongoing subsurface testing activities, which included the highly sensitive historic and archaeological environment of Chalan Kanoa. This time, we’ve recently reviewed and completed a major siting permit research design for archaeological inventory survey in support of a new judiciary building and business complex in Garapan. We’ve also conducted a preliminary report for archaeological investigations and supplementary information of Zen Homes in Gualo Rai,” Kani said.

With over 450 earthmoving projects this year, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres noted that the one-start permitting process has benefitted economic development.

“With over 450 earthmoving projects, it remains crucial that developments are compliant and that proposed projects do not jeopardize our island’s resources. The diligence performed by all our permitting agencies continues and, through this permitting process, we’ve been able to increase efficiency and quality of services. I want to reiterate that earthmoving activities can affect the balance of our environment. …At the end of the day, we must ensure that these activities are done in a way that minimizes environmental impacts and that we stay cognizant of preserving these areas for the future,” Torres said.

BECQ reviews and manages the Inter-Agency One-Start Earthmoving and Erosion Control Permit application for both commercial and non-commercial activities and by law must be completed within 21 calendar days. These regulations have ensured inter-agency compliance and streamlining. (PR)


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