US bill could double CNMI water project funding - Sablan

12:22 pm on 18 September 2018

The US Congressman for the Northern Marianas says new legislation passed by Washington could double the territory's funding for water projects.

US Congress Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan has introduced a bipartisan bill to ban the shark fin trade across the United States.

Gregorio Kilili Sablan Photo: USDA/Lance Cheung.

On Thursday congress passed the a bill, which increases the money for a safe drinking water fund, from $US1 billion to nearly $US2 billion.

Congressman Gregorio Kilili Sablan said the Northern Marianas receives around $US3.5 million annually from the fund and this could now double.

The act also cancels a proposed axing of $US20 million in water infrastructure earmarked for Saipan.

A US Environmental Protection Agency report in March found there is a need for nearly $US200 million in funding towards water infrastructure in the Northern Marianas over the next 20 years.

Combined with a similar level of need for the territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands, the EPA said $US1 billion would be needed.

"The overall challenges for all the US territories include rapidly deteriorating infrasturcutre, a seasonal transient customer base, limited source water options, and ground water contamination," the report said.