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By John Ravelo

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Mar. 23) - The Emergency Management Office has sought a permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct retrieval and detonation of vintage ordnance on Rota, including a 500-lb bomb recently discovered on the reef line at the vicinity of As Dudo.

The EMO had also asked the U.S. Navy's Explosives Ordnance Disposal unit to facilitate the project sometime next week.

The ordnance include another 500-lb bomb that was discovered in As Nieves-also known as As Kamachili-and two 250-lb bombs that were found in Sabana.

EMO director Rudolfo Pua also sought the assistance of local emergency responders in carrying out the project, including those from the Coastal Resources Management Office.

"All these live unexploded ordnance present a threat to life and property," Pua said.

The detonation site would be at the As Matmos area, where the Navy had previously detonated vintage ordnance retrieved from different parts of the island.

The Navy had detonated vintage ordnance in As Matmos in early December 2003. The ordnance included a 500-lb bomb.

Last March 12, the Navy detonated over 1,000 lbs. of World War II ordnance at the foot of the Marpi cliff on Saipan. The Navy also detonated vintage ordnance at the Marpi site last Nov. 18.

The islands were a battleground during World War II, leaving unexploded ordnance in many areas.

March 23, 2004

Saipan Tribune http://www.saipantribune.com


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