The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality was established by Executive Order No. 2013-24. On November 12, 2013 Honorable Governor Eloy S. Inos issued Executive Order No. 2013-24 reorganizing and merging the previously separate and locally mandated Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Coastal Resources Management (CRM) entities under the newly established Bureau of Environmental & Coastal Quality (BECQ) agency under the Executive Branch. Based on EO 2013-24, the main purpose of the merger is to enhance efficiency and positive collaboration between the two environmental entities through integration of services and strategic goals, sharing of resources, and elimination of overlapping responsibilities.
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CHECK OUT OUR NEW BECQ SIGN!
BECQ has put up its new sign displayed right above the main entrance of our office in Gualo Rai. Hats off to our Network Administrator, Chris Wallace, for taking the lead in the design and coordination in getting the sign up safely.
MANAGAHA MARINE WATER QUALITY REPORT
FOR THE WEEK OF JULY 17, 2014
MG 11 (Next To Dock)
The Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) analyzes water samples collected from Managaha's recreational beaches this week. Samples collected from the following locations contained excessive concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria (enterococci) that exceeded the CNMI Marine Water Quality Standards. These bacteria can indicate the presence of human and animal waste in the water. However, studies have shown that storm water runoff in tropical environments may also contain these bacteria from the natural environment, which may not be directly associated with public health concerns. Therefore, In order to adequately address public health concerns, DEQ has given the following locations a RED FLAG and advises the public not to fish or swim within 300 feet of these locations for the next 48 hours or until otherwise notified.
Earthmoving & Erosion Control Rules and Regulation Revisions
BECQ-DEQ is announcing revisions to its earthmoving regulations that were adopted on June 7, 2014, after being published for public comment in the Commonwealth Register on February 28, 2014.
The following are the keys changes made:
- The reference to landscaping for small projects has been removed. Instead, all projects less than 100 meters and with a grade less than 3% will not be required to obtain a permit.
- All maps and site-plan drawings for commercial projects must be prepared using a computer-based drawing tool such as Auto-CAD.
- A certified Erosion Control Specialist must oversee and implement the temporary erosion control plan for all commercial projects. An Erosion Control Specialist is any person who has met the following requirements:
- The person has completed the application to register as a DEQ-certified Erosion Control Specialist, or has renewed a previously approved certification.
- The person has paid the necessary application fee or renewal fee.
- The person has passed the DEQ-administered “Erosion & Sediment Control Certification Exam” with a score of 70% or better.
- The person has not demonstrated a history of noncompliance with the DEQ Earthmoving & Erosion Control Regulations.
- The fee structure for commercial permit applications has been revised as follows:
Project Area Fee
Up to 1 hectare $150.00
Greater than 1 hectare
less than or equal to 5 hectare $450.00
Greater than 5 hectare
less than or equal to 15 hectare $850.00
Greater than 15 hectare
less than or equal to 50 hectare $3,000.00
Greater than 50 hectare
less than or equal to 100 hectare $6,000.00
Greater than 100 hectare
less than or equal to 200 hectare $10,000.00
Greater than 200 hectare $15,000.00
- Non-commercial applications, with the exception of work performed by the government, shall be charged an application fee of $25.
- The standards set forth in 2.1 and 2.2 of the 2006 CNMI and Guam Stormwater Management Manual are adopted by reference into the regulation.
- After a permit has been approved and issued, each amendment to a commercial application shall result in a fee of 50% of the original permit application fee.
The above Commercial and Non-commercial fee schedule will be in effect on September 2, 2014. For detailed information, please call the BECQ, Division of Environmental Quality - Wastewater, Earthmoving & Erosion Control Branch at 664-8500.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Governor Eloy S. Inos and Lt. Governor Jude U. Hofschneider, through the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality (BECQ) located in the Northern Marianas Islands, are soliciting proposals from qualified firms and individuals to install a telephone system for office telecommunication operation for the Office of the Governor, Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
To view the Request For Proposals please click on the link below:
2014 Draft Water Quality Assessment Report Available For Public Review and Comment
BECQ invites the public to review and comment on the 2014 Integrated Report. To view the full report, please click on the link below:
Comments may be submitted through the following forms:
- In person to the BECQ office at the Gualo Rai Center on Middle Road (across from the Subway restaurant)
- By mail. Mailed comments should be addressed to Mr. Frank M. Rabauliman, Administrator, Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, P.O. Box 501304, Saipan, MP 96950
- By e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mails should contain the subject line "2014 IR Comments"
All comments must be received by BECQ no later than July 25, 2014 in order for the comments to be considered by BECQ in the preparation of the final Integrated Report.
BECQ Active on Site Inspections for Illegal Pesticide Products
The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality has been vigorous in conducting site inspections to crack down on the sale of illegally imported misbranded, unregistered pesticides and pesticide devices in the Commonwealth.
BECQ staff have been diligently inspecting distributors, retailers and wholesalers to ensure that illegal pesticide products are not on store shelves for resale to the public. Over the last month, a number of businesses have been issued notice of violations as well as violation fines due to the failure of businesses in removing these illegal products promptly. Just several weeks ago, BECQ issued another hefty violation fine of $3,000.00 to a retailer for the importation and resale of illegal unregistered pesticide devices.
The Administrator wants to continuously remind all distributors, retailers and wholesalers that all pesticide products to be imported, sold or used in the Commonwealth must have the required labeling that conforms to US EPA requirements. He further encourages businesses to take immediate action to remove illegal pesticides from their storefronts or establishments to avoid hefty violation fines and fees.
"The importation, sale and use of illegal pesticides puts the health and safety of our communities at risk," Frank Rabauliman, Administrator for the Bureau, said. "Store owners and wholesalers have a responsibility to make sure the pesticide chemicals and devices they import and sell have the required EPA labels."
Before a pesticide product is registered, the producer of the product must provide data from tests conducted according to EPA guidelines to ensure that the product will not be harmful to people’s health or natural resources. The EPA examines the ingredients and the way in which the product will be used and assesses a wide variety of potential human health and environmental effects associated with its use. Distributors and retailers are responsible for ensuring that all pesticides distributed and sold fully comply with the law.
Under CNMI Pesticide regulation, it is also unlawful for any person within the CNMI to offer to deliver to another person any pesticide that is unregistered, misbranded, banned or cancelled.
For more information about the status of legality of a pesticide, please contact the Pesticide Program at 664-8500/11 or send an email to email@example.com . You are also encouraged to visit www.deq.gov.mp for general information about pesticides or to download the pesticide regulations.
Illegal Trash Dumping at Mt. Tapochau - A Premier Saipan Tourist Site
The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality (BECQ) has received several complaints of littering and illegal trash dumping at Mt. Tapochau. Mt. Tapochau is a very popular tourist attraction on Saipan for its battleground history during World War II and its breathtaking view of the island. The site is also a sacred ground for the local community because it is the home of the Stations of the Cross erected each year on Good Friday.
On Tuesday, May 7th, the BECQ was notified of several large piles of trash left at the Mt. Tapochau parking area and near the Chief Aiken Trail turnoff. There were also unsightly remains of tables and chairs left behind from an old souvenir stand.
On Wednesday, May 8th, BECQ Litter Inspectors, together with the Department of Lands and Natural Resources - Division of Parks and Recreation, investigated the site to determine who dumped the trash. The trash in the Mt. Tapochau parking area appeared to be mostly from tour groups. The trash pile on the side of the road near the Chief Aiken Trail consisted mainly of styrofoam cups, plastic bottles, and plates and forks dumped after the Stations of the Cross event last April. During this time, Division of Parks and Recreation took immediate action to clean up the trash left behind and are coordinating efforts to remove the remains of the souvenir stand.
The Director of Parks and Recreation, Mr. Eli Cabrera, is looking for new bins to install at the Mt. Tapochau parking area to replace the bin that was removed from a previous sponsor. Presently, an agency has not been designated to maintain the site however Parks and Recreation will be visiting the site on a weekly basis to ensure that the area is clear of trash.
Unfortunately, other heavily visited sites around Saipan, such as the Forbidden Island Beach, Jeffrey’s Beach and San Juan Beach, have similar littering and illegal dumping issues.
The BECQ Administrator, Frank Rabauliman, wants to remind the community that littering is prohibited by the Litter Control Act of 1989 and violators are subject to penalties between $200 and $500 per violation, as well as community service. Open dumping is also prohibited by the Solid Waste Management Act and violators are subject to penalties of up to $1,000 per violation per day.
If you witness littering or illegal trash dumping please report these violations to Mr. Dave Chargualaf or Greg Reyes at the BECQ – Division of Environmental Quality office at 664-8500.