Judge approves $4.6M task order for pipeline project

U.S. District Court for the NMI designated judge David O. Carter approved Monday a request for a task order with a total funding ceiling of $4.6 million related to the construction of the stalled Commonwealth Utilities Corp. pipeline project by Gilbane Federal.

Carter approved the stipulation and task order 2 jointly requested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the CNMI government, and CUC.

Gilbane Federal is a California-based full service construction company recently selected by the district court as Engineering and Environmental Management Company to expeditiously complete some CUC projects.

Meanwhile, Carter is expected to conduct a site visit again at CUC projects today, Wednesday, at 7:30am.

At a status conference on Monday, Carter asked the parties to update him on the progress of the ongoing CUC projects.

Gilbane Federal vice president Daryl Greenway apprised the court of the progress of the ongoing projects.

According to Gilbane Federal’s task order summary sheet, the pipeline construction will commence work on March 5, 2015, and the completion date is July 1, 2016.

Last Feb. 5, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved an additional funding of $2.6 million to complete the pipeline project.

With the additional funds, DOI’s total funding for the pipeline project now balloons to $8.1 million since the project was initiated in 2010.

The oil pipeline project is an 8-inch aboveground receiving pipeline that delivers diesel fuel from the Mobil oil facility to CUC Power Plants 1 and 2 in Lower Base. EPA had stated that until the pipeline is properly repaired or replaced, it poses a threat to the adjacent ocean.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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