4 Dec 2008

CNMI power emergency continues

2:34 pm on 4 December 2008

The Northern Marianas Governor, Benigno Fitial, has extended once more his declaration of a state of disaster emergency at the troubled Commonwealth Utilities Corporation.

The CUC has been under a state of emergency since August the 1st.

The governor says his latest decision is because the CUC water division cannot serve all of its customers due to a lack of supplies and equipment.

He also says there is no indication when the corporation will be able to comply with federal requirements stipulated in the recent lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Last month, the department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed a suit to compel the CUC to adhere to federal regulations governing water, sewage, power and fuel.

If certain stipulations are not met, the CUC can be fined up to 1,000 US dollars a day on each violation for the first 30 days, with the penalty rising to 5,000 US dollars a day after two months.