Site Assessment and Remediation
DEQ’s Site Assessment and Remediation (SAR) branch protects the CNMI public health and the environment by ensuring the assessment and cleanup of sites contaminated by the release of hazardous substances are conducted effectively and diligently in accordance with CNMI and Federal laws and regulations. The SAR branch is responsible for managing and implementing the following programs:
- Section 128(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended, authorizes a noncompetitive $50 million grant program to establish and enhance state and tribal response programs. CERCLA section 128(a) response program grants are funded with categorical State and Tribal Assistance Grant (STAG) appropriations. Section 128(a) cooperative agreements are awarded and administered by the EPA regional offices. Generally, these response programs address the assessment, cleanup, and redevelopment of brownfields sites and other sites with actual or perceived contamination. (https://www.epa.gov)
104k Brownfields (Hazardous Substances & Petroleum)
- Assessment grants provide funding for a grant recipient to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfields sites. An eligible entity may apply for up to $200,000 to assess a site contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum) and up to $200,000 to address a site contaminated by petroleum.
Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) Program
- The U.S. Army is DOD’s lead agent for the FUDS Program. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers executes the FUDS Program on behalf of the U.S. Army and DOD. The U.S. Army and DOD are dedicated to protecting human health and the environment by investigating and, if required, cleaning up potential contamination or munitions that may remain on these properties from past DOD activities. (USACE)
Part of SAR's responsibilities is to facilitate the coordination and provide oversight for site assessments and cleanup activities which includes reviewing and approving of remedial response action site plans (i.e. Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP), Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP), etc.). For more information, please contact Ray Masga, SAR Branch Manager, at 664-8500. You are encouraged to report violations or send comments regarding the SAR program.
3Rs' of Explosives Safety
As the CNMI served as a battleground throughout World War II, so much military munitions were left behind after the end of World War II, and till this day, military munitions are still being discovered and unearthed around the islands. As a way to spread awareness on the Explosives Safety and educating the community on what to do when coming across military munitions, we encourage the community to follow the "3Rs' of Explosives Safety". In addition, the "3Rs' of Explosives Safety" are made readily available at the Department of Defense website.
What are munitions? Munitions are designed to be dangerous. Military personnel use our lands and waters across the United States for live-fire training and testing to defend our nation. As a result, ammo may be present on both land and in the water. No matter what you call it — ammo, explosives, UXO, duds or souvenirs — remember munitions are dangerous and can explode if approached, touched, moved or disturbed. By learning and following the 3Rs (Recognize, Retreat, Report) of Explosives Safety, you will help protect yourself, your family, friends and community from the potential dangers associated with the presence of munitions. (http://www.denix.osd.mil/uxo/index.cfm)
- Recognize – when you may have come across a munition, and that munitions are dangerous;
- Retreat – do not approach, touch, move, or disturb a suspect munition, but carefully leave the area; and
- Report – immediately what you saw and where you saw it to local law enforcement – call 911.
Please protect yourself, friends, family and the whole community by sharing the 3Rs' of Explosives Safety, "RECOGNIZE, RETREAT, REPORT".
What is a Brownfield?
With certain legal exclusions and additions, the term "brownfield site" means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off greenspaces and working lands. (EPA)
The purpose of the Brownfields program is to clean up "areas which may have been complicated by the presence or potential presence of a pollutant, hazardous substance, or contaminant", in creating opportunity to reuse, redevelop on the land for future uses.
For everything regarding "Brownfields", its overview, definitions, and programs, jump to the link: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfield-overview-and-definition
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) falls under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9 which covers the Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, and Nevada.
To see the locations of all current US EPA Region 9 Brownfield Grants, click on the link: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/bf_grants_map_cities_7_15.pdf