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EPA issues final permit decision for treatment of unexploded ordnance at CNMI

Release Date: 05/12/2008
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(05/12/08) HONOLULU - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to grant a hazardous waste permit to the CNMI Department of Public Safety for storing and treating unexploded munitions in CNMI.

CNMI began the process for a Remedial Action Plan, a unique kind of RCRA permit, in 2006, to address the hazards created by the millions of pounds of munitions and explosives abandoned in Saipan following World War II. The EPA issued a draft Remedial Action Plan in December 2007, followed by a public comment period that closed in January.

“The process of completing proper disposal of unexploded munitions in CNMI will be greatly streamlined with this permit,” said Nancy Lindsay, Acting Director of Waste Programs for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region. “In addition, this permit provides for greater protection for the community and the environment.”

In the past, the EPA and CNMI used emergency, short-term measures to address the hazards from unexploded ordnance. The Remedial Action Plan permits CNMI DPS to store and treat unexploded ordnance at the Marpi Point open detonation area. The Marpi Point location is about one mile north of the Marpi Landfill.

For background information on this issue, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region09/waste/features/ordnance/

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