Sunday, February 17, 2019

Northern Mariana Islands receive $2.4 million from EPA for environmental programs

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ (CNMI) Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality (BECQ) recently received $2.4 million of funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which will go toward the organization’s environmental programs.
BECQ conducts environmental inspections, develops and implements cleanup projects to convert contaminated areas for productive use and oversees the use of pesticides to ensure they are employed safely. The bureau also works to ensure clean beaches and safe drinking water, clean up polluted streams and protect coral reefs from runoff and sedimentation.
“EPA’s support enables CNMI to advance its environmental programs,” Alexis Strauss, Acting EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, said. “These investments directly benefit the residents of CNMI and CNMI’s precious island resources.”
Specifically, the EPA funding will be prioritised for environmental concerns such as ensuring safe and reliable drinking water and coastal waters that are safe for fishing and swimming as well as suitable aquatic habitats.

The BECQ will also work to protect coral reefs through monitoring activities and implementing new Water Quality Standards, and will improve Saipan’s watersheds. The funding will benefit public health projects such as radon tests in select homes and institutional buildings and go toward eliminating the importation and use of illegal, unregistered and foreign pesticides.

Organizations in this Story

EPA Region 9 (Pacific Southwest)

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