‘Judge, EPA, DOJ pleased with CUC efforts to comply with SO1 and 2’

Posted on Jul 29 2021

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U.S. District Judge David O. Carter and both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Justice are reportedly mostly pleased with the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s progress in complying with the mandates of court-mandated “stipulated orders.”

Carter, who is handling the “stipulated orders” matter in the U.S. District Court for the NMI, together with EPA and DOJ representatives, visited Saipan last week to check in on CUC’s progress, according to CUC executive director Gary Camacho.

He said CUC gave the group several tours of its facilities and gave them an “update presentation” on the current state of CUC’s systems as a whole and presented on where CUC currently is in its ability to comply with Stipulated Order 1 and Stipulated Order 2.

SO1 and 2 are mandates issued by the U.S. District Court for the NMI ordering CUC to address its issues with drinking water, wastewater, and oil. The court issued the two orders in March 2009 through January 2020.

According to Camacho, Carter and the other federal government representatives were pleased with CUC’s progress in regards to SO 1. In regards to SO 2, the EPA’s enforcement group brought up some concerns, but Camacho assured that “those findings were something easy enough to try to quickly make an adjustment on and correct.”

“Judge Carter, the EPA, and the Department of Justice are pleased with the efforts and where we are today as far as Stipulated Order 1 [is concerned]. As for Stipulated Order 2, there’s an oil water separator that still needs to be installed at Power Plant 1 [in Lower Base], and some work in Power Plant 4 [near Middle Road], [but] they’re very happy with our progress,” said Camacho.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, the two orders directed CUC to implement certain projects within a specified time.

SO 1 focused on requiring CUC to provide safe drinking water to residents on a 24-hour basis, maintaining adequate chlorine supplies, and safely treating and discharging wastewater.

SO 2 focused on oil issues such as requiring CUC to repair and replace oil storage units and operation infrastructure, manage tank and pipeline facilities and handle storm water runoff.

Joshua Santos | Reporter
Joshua Santos is a Mount Carmel School AlumKnight and University of Florida Gator Grad with a passion for writing. He is one of Saipan Tribune’s newest reporters. Josh enjoys golf, chess, and playing video games with friends in his spare time. Reach out to him @rarebasedjosh on all socials.

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