22 Feb 2011

US EPA says pipeline just one of CNMI issues

4:11 pm on 22 February 2011

The United States Environmental Protection Agency says a leaky oil pipeline is just one of a number of issues it's been working to address with the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation in the Northern Marianas.

Last week, a report from the agency was filed in federal court which found the mile-long pipeline had sprung leaks and posed a threat to US navigable waters because of its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean and Philippine Sea.

An EPA on-scene coordinator, Michelle Rogow, says the agency has been in litigation with the corporation about oil and water distribution issues since 2006.

"Much of it deals with things like the pipeline, which is ageing infrastructure that hasn't been properly maintained and therefore is either failing or has the potential to fail due to high corrosion or bad maintenance practices."

Michelle Rogow says the EPA is also working on problems with above ground tanks, secondary containment facilities, and cleanup of historic oil spills on the corporation's property.