4 Jul 2008

CUC's used oil tank in CNMI on brink of failure

3:28 pm on 4 July 2008

An oil storage tank at the CNMI's Commonwealth Utility Corporation's power plant in Puerto Rico is on the brink of a major spill that could pollute Saipan's lagoon.

The community group Tao Tao Tano says, Tank 104, a 300,000 gallon storage unit for used oil at the CUC plant, is already facing a review by environmental regulators and is an accident waiting to happen.

The president of Tao Tao Tano, Gregorio Cruz, has filed a citizen's complaint over the tank with the CNMI Department of Environmental Quality.

He says the tank has previously leaked a significant quantity of oil onto the surrounding land and is in such poor condition that more is likely to be spilled.

Mr Cruz says it is the result of years of mismanagement.

A former CUC executive director, Ramon Guerrero, says the storage tank is on the brink of a catastrophic failure and is near ready to fall apart.