CNMI fines casino $US100,000 for environmental violations

1:39 pm on 1 May 2016

The Northern Marianas environmental agency has fined the parent company of Best Sunshine International Limited $US100,000 for repeated violations and non-compliance of orders on the construction site of its $US550-million Grand Mariana Casino & Hotel Resort on Saipan.

The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality said Imperial Pacific International wilfully and repeatedly violated permit conditions meant to prevent runoff and contaminants from entering the Saipan Lagoon despite numerous warnings, fines, and cease-and-desist orders issued between the months of February and April.

It also said that the casino company's construction workers essentially worked through ways to illegally pump the project's waste and discharge and their potential contaminants into the lagoon through deficient runoff, erosion controls and un-permitted runoff pipes and ponding basins, and excavated grounds outside their permitted construction site, among others, according to documents.

The CNMI agency also added that construction workers also seemingly disobeyed orders to stop working past extended working hours granted by the bureau, despite having the hours pulled a day before.