29 Mar 2011

CNMI utility emergency declaration lifted

8:30 am on 29 March 2011

In the Northern Marianas, the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation will now function as an independent agency after more than two years operating under the administration's watch.

The Governor Benigno Fitial announced the lifting of the emergency status of the power firm yesterday.

The Fitial administration first placed CUC under emergency status on August 1, 2008, to enable it to skirt procurement and other laws to solve rolling blackouts and imminent power generation failure.

CUC entered its 31st month under a state of emergency last month.

Governor Fitial said yesterday it is time to end the CUC's emergency status, pointing out the many improvements in its management and operation in the last two years.

He says the CUC has made tremendous progress over the last several months.

The end of the emergency declaration coincides with significant progress and collaboration between CUC and federal agencies, specifically the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice.