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By Haidee V. Eugenio

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Jan. 7) - To comply with local and federal environmental regulations, Tinian will close its dumpsite and build its own fully compliant $3 million landfill this year, according to Public Works Secretary Juan S. Reyes.

Each day, Tinian’s population of about 3,500 people bring approximately 10 tons of garbage to its open dumpsite, which, if left unaddressed, may become the island’s own version of Saipan’s Puerto Rico dumpsite.

Reyes yesterday said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had taken over the procurement process for the construction of the Tinian landfill, which is set to start this year.

"This is going to be a busy year. Once the project is done, the Department of Public Works will take over the operations and maintenance of the landfill," Reyes told Variety.

Rota, for its part, is yet to identify funds to address its garbage problems.

Unlike Saipan, which now has a $10 million landfill, Tinian and Rota are still in violation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the CNMI Division of Environmental Quality’s solid waste regulations due to their open dumps.

In related news, Reyes said the design for the estimated $6 million Tinian High School construction project is now 75 percent complete.

"Construction will start this year. This is a project funded by both the federal and local government," Reyes said.

A new courthouse facility will also be built on Rota this year, he added. The project will cost about $3 million, Reyes said.

January 7, 2004

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