US Environmental Agency Reviews Oversight Of Territories

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EPA to ensure it’s efforts in Guam, CNMI, Am. Samoa are effective

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, March 22, 2014) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s investigative watchdog arm plans to begin research next week into the federal agency’s oversight of American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands regarding "support grants" agreements.

This was according to a Mar. 11 memo from USEPA’s Office of Inspector General to Jared Blumenfeld, USEPA Regional Administration for the Region 9, which covers western states and the three U.S. Pacific territories.

The memo says OIG plans to begin preliminary research into USEPA’s assistance agreements with the three territories next week. The preliminary research objectives are to determine whether the USEPA: has controls and processes in place to ensure proper oversight of Guam, American Samoa and CNMI assistance agreements; and, is ensuring that the assistance agreements effectively and efficiently protect human health and the environment.

Research will be conducted at the Region 9’s Pacific Islands Office and the USEPA’s Office of Water and as well as in the Pacific Territories. The memo went on to say that at the end of the preliminary research phase, "we will determine whether additional work is warranted and, if so, whether the objectives should be modified."

OIG plans to hold the kickoff meeting by next Monday. No specific date is on the memo as to when the OIG will visit American Samoa and when the research work will be completed.

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