Judge to CUC and the NMI govt: What’s status now?


U.S. District Court for the NMI designated Judge David O. Carter has ordered the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. and the CNMI government to inform the court of the status of all grants relating to several CUC projects.

Carter also wants an update on grant applications, grant payments and remaining funds related to approved or potential Engineering Environmental Management Company projects, and Stipulated Order No. 1 and 2 projects.

The judge also directed CUC to provide the court with the status of the Technical Manager for Oil fund and all projects associated with the TMO fund.

CUC was ordered to identify the funding available in the TMO fund and provide an accounting of those funds up to June 30, 2019.

CUC was directed to describe the TMO projects, including the project costs and the schedule for completion of the projects.

CUC and the CNMI government have until Aug. 8, to provide the required information.

CUC has been required to fund an annual budget for the TMO and associated oil spill prevention, preparedness and response operations.

This budget is separate from the power generation and distribution budgets and the EEMC budget and the Registry Funds.

The activities associated with this budget are restricted to oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response activities, including operations, maintenance, training, and waste management.

According to the court’s prior TMO order, this budget shall be funded each year in an amount not less than $450,000 per year for five years.

CUC is not required to maintain more than $900,000 in the TMO annual budget.

Stipulated Order No. 1

Last January, Gilbane Federal, the federal court-appointed EEMC, which is tasked to oversee some of CUC’s stalled projects, disclosed that it has now completed seven task orders and made over $2 million in savings for CUC.

The seven completed tasks were the facility drainage, Tank 103 inspection, Tank 103 materials, Rota containment, Rota facility drainage, Tank 103 repairs, and smart pigging.

Stipulated Order No. 1 focuses on drinking water and wastewater and the restructuring of CUC’s organization.

Stipulated Order No. 2 refers to court-mandated CUC projects that focus on oil issues and also apply to oil spills and the remediation of the contaminated power plants.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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