US $2.1 million for environmental protection in American Samoa
American Samoa recieves US 2.1 million for environmental protection.
The US Environmental Protections Agency is providing American Samoa with over 2.1million US dollars for environmental protection work.
The funding, will go to the American Samoa Environmental Agency, for its monitoring and management of the country's resources.
EPA officer Dean Higuchi spoke with Koroi Hawkins about the funding.
DEAN HIGUCHI: This money provides funding to support the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency including their work to do inspections, monitoring of beaches and drinking water, permit writing, enforcement and other facets of their environmental protections programs that are part of their work in conjunction with us at the Federal US Environmental Protection Agency.
KOROI HAWKINS: Why is such funding important?
DH: The funding is important because it helps to fund their program that actually helps implement our Federal Environmental statutes and regulations throughout the territory. It goes to a lot of different things like environmental outreach, as far as drinking water protection, as far as protection of coral reefs for example.
KH: Compared to previous years is this an increase or are there any trends in terms of the funding over the years?
DH: I think it is relatively stable as far as trends in the amount of funding, I mean generally we look at being able to help fund, fund their program and again there are certain amounts but again it looks to be pretty stable as far as funding.
KH: Where else in the Pacific does this particular type of funding go to and has that been awarded already?
DH: Well, with EPA a lot of the funding sources not only territories but also to states function in a similar fashion, the state of Hawaii gets an amount of money, Guam gets an amount of money and so does CNMI so against his is a pretty common, yearly funding allotment to help run the programs in all those different areas.
KH: When will American Samoa actually receive these fundings and what sort of accountability and reporting do they also have to make?
DH: Anytime you receive grant funding from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency their is reporting requirements there are reporting requirements as far as drawing down the funds so that is, we implement out not only through EPA but you know through American Samoa staff there to make sure that the funding goes to the specific programs and matches the work plan requirements. From what I understand the grant has already been awarded so again it is part of an ongoing process.
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