A land survey, along with an environmental impact study and design and construction proposals, needs to be done for the proposed relocation site of Tinian’s dumpsite before the island’s leadership can push through with the project.
The proposed dumpsite is located in Pina, which is in the eastern part of Tinian.
The current Tinian landfill, located southwest of Tinian and near the airport, is an open dump and is the subject of health and environmental concerns by local and federal agencies.
Casino resort investor Alter City Group earlier made known its concerns about the dumpsite, which is located right smack in the middle of its leased land in Puntan Diablo.
The first phase of its casino resort project is slated in the next three to four years and the company does not want to build near a dumpsite.
Eric San Nicolas, military policy adviser for the Tinian Mayor’s Office, said the existing dumpsite is within Alter City’s public land lease of 152 hectares.
“The dump cannot be closed until a compliant landfill is completed or other options such as exporting municipal solid waste to the Saipan landfill become operational,” he said.
San Nicolas said the CNMI Joint Military Training draft EIS/OEIS identified two locations as potential landfill sites—one in Pina and the other at Kastiyu.
“The Tinian leadership is recommending the Pina site over the Kastiyu because of the planned ‘Tinian Plateau Integrated Resort Development’ project at Kastiyu,” he said.
However, the Department of Public Lands has to first designate and survey 18 hectares within the potential site at Pina. Once the site has been designated, the next phases will be the EIS study, design, and construction.
San Nicolas said that Alter City has pledged funding for the relocation of the dump, but they are not sure if they would be willing to pay for all associated costs for a new landfill.
For the proposed transfer of municipal solid waste, the military is proposing to ship all of it to either the Marpi landfill or to the Navy solid waste facility in Guam. They are also looking at other options such as incineration and recycling.
San Nicolas noted that the transfer station design is 100 percent complete and ready for construction upon approval by the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality. All solid waste that cannot be recycled or are non-biodegradable has to be disposed in an approved landfill or shipped to the Saipan landfill.
“We propose to address all these issues with the landfill by either building a new landfill or, if feasible, ship it to the Saipan landfill,” San Nicolas said.