U.S. EPA awards nearly $5.7 million to improve post-typhoon waste management in CNMI
Funding represents second allocation from $56 million total
SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $5,693,217 to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to support effective hazardous and solid waste management to further address impacts of 2018’s Super Typhoon Yutu. Funding for this award comes from the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act (ASADRA).
“EPA is committed to supporting the CNMI’s improvement of waste management facilities impacted by natural disasters,” said Acting EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Deborah Jordan. “Using this funding, the CNMI will make repairs to the Marpi Landfill and improve waste management resilience to minimize future damage from tropical storms.”
This second round of funding is supporting multiple efforts within the CNMI and includes:
- Completing disaster debris cleanup from Super Typhoon Yutu.
- Increasing the capacity of the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality to conduct regulatory and outreach activities for the solid and zero waste management programs.
- Developing a Comprehensive Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan that will cover the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota, and a Zero Waste Management Plan for the Island of Tinian.
- Conducting emergency repairs to the Marpi Landfill on Saipan.
EPA will continue to work closely with the CNMI to provide technical assistance and collaborate with other federal agencies involved in recovery efforts. In early 2020, EPA awarded $10.4 million in ASADRA funding for wastewater treatment work and improvements to drinking water facilities impacted by Super Typhoon Yutu. The first award of $565,980 from the separate ASADRA hazardous and solid waste management appropriation was then given in Fall 2020. EPA expects to award the remaining ASADRA funds to multiple CNMI agencies over a four-year period.
On 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 waste, collecting and recycling 1,447 damaged electric transformers, and working closely with the local government to restore drinking water supplies affected by the storm.