U.S. EPA Awards Nearly $566,000 to Improve Post-Hurricane Waste Management in Northern Mariana Islands
HONOLULU — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $565,980 to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for necessary expenses related to the consequences of Super Typhoon Yutu for hazardous and solid waste management. Funding for this award comes from the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act (ASADRA) and is the first installment of the $56 million allocated for these activities.
“EPA is committed to help improve hurricane-impacted waste management facilities in CNMI,” said EPA Regional Administrator John Busterud. “EPA is pleased that CNMI will continue work in building stronger, more resilient waste management.”
This funding is helping CNMI’s Office of Planning and Development to build solid waste management capacity through new staff hires and the formation of an inter-island taskforce. The taskforce will include the Department of Public Works and the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality and will develop plans for CNMI’s post disaster recovery, including zero waste projects and emergency infrastructure repairs to the Marpi landfill.
EPA will continue to work closely with CNMI throughout their recovery to provide technical assistance and collaborate with other federal agencies involved in recovery efforts. EPA expects to award the remaining ASADRA funds to multiple CNMI agencies over a five-year period.
In October 2018, a Category 5 Super Typhoon – Yutu – struck the Northern Mariana Islands. EPA’s immediate recovery work, which cost about $30 million, was authorized and funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-issued mission assignments in early November 2018. Work included collecting and disposing of over 31,000 units of electronic waste and hazardous wastes, collecting and recycling 1,447 damaged electric transformers, and working closely with the local government to restore drinking water supplies affected by the storm.
Earlier this year, EPA awarded a separate $10.4 million in ASADRA funding for Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving fund for wastewater treatment work and drinking water facilities impacted by Super Typhoon Yutu.