The Northern Marianas governor, Eloy Inos, says the territory will oppose a call for it to appoint a receiver to run the struggling Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, or CUC.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency says the financially-troubled utility is ignoring court orders and deadlines, and the CNMI Government is failing to ensure it is properly funded.
The USEPA is asking the federal court to appoint a receiver and find the CUC in breach and in contempt.
The governor's opposition is backed by lawmakers who say delays in the completion of court-ordered projects for the utility were the fault of contractors and not the government.
The USEPA is seeking a receiver to take charge of one order, which focusses on repairing and replacing infrastructure, managing tanks and pipelines and spill prevention.