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EPA, DOJ reach agreement with CNMI and CUC Saipan to move forward with work on oil spill cleanup and prevention at CUC power plants

Release Date: 09/25/2014
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711,

(09/25/14) HONOLULUThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced an agreement as part of a Federal District court order today with the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation (CUC) and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) that furthers oil spill cleanup, preparedness and response efforts and critical infrastructure improvements at all of CUC’s power plants.

“Today’s action will go a long way to preventing a catastrophic oil spill in Saipan and Rota,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We appreciate CNMI’s efforts to pursue alternative energy strategies that will reduce the need to store costly imported oil that has the potential to be spilled.”

Under the order, CUC and the government of the CNMI will agree to the appointment of an engineering and environmental management company that will report to the court. That consultant will perform all of the work required by the 2009 stipulated order that required CUC to stop and prevent oil discharges from its oil pipeline, storage tanks, and facility operations at its power plants. Also as part of this order, CUC and the government of the CNMI will provide sufficient funding to complete the work.

As part of today’s order, DOJ will withdraw its motion that was filed on September11 with the court requesting the appointment of a receiver for CUC.