Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 26 Mar 2019 12am







    Sunday, March 24, 2019-7:09:59A.M.






Font Size


BECQ fines Best Sunshine for repeated violations

THE Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality on Thursday imposed a $40,000 fine on Imperial Pacific International/Best Sunshine International for the repeated discharge of wastewater into the lagoon from the construction site of the Grand Mariana in Garapan.

Variety learned that BECQ had earlier fined Imperial Pacific twice for the same violation.

In the order of correction and fine, BECQ-Division of Coastal Resource Management Director Fran Castro said Imperial Pacific/Best Sunshine International “has violated the conditions of the CRM permit.”

These violations, Castro’s order stated, involved the repeated occurrence of wastewater discharge into the Garapan lagoon and reef without a permit. The order stated that there was damage to the sea grass bed and lagoon habitat as a result of the discharge.

For such violation, CRM directed Imperial Pacific to pay a fine in the amount of $40,000. The payment is to be made by check to the Department of Finance within 30 days of receipt of the notice. Castro also ordered that a copy of payment receipt be provided to the CRM office.

According to CRM, on Feb. 19, Imperial Pacific was warned about the wastewater discharge that was having a negative environmental impact. The warning also specified repairs that needed to be made to prevent future wastewater discharge.

But CRM said the repairs were not made.

On March 7, 2016, CRM was informed by a concerned citizen that the wastewater discharge was still occuring at the site. Pictures were submitted to CRM.

On March 10, 2016 CRM Chief Enforcement Officer Richard Brooks visited the area and confirmed the concerned citizen’s report. He observed the wastewater discharge around 8:40 p.m.

The night after Castro’s meeting with HHCG Building and Civil Engineering Assistant Project Director Alan Tam to discuss the violations on April 8, 2016, Brooks noted at 9:45 p.m. “indications of additional wastewater being discharged from the southwest corner of the project site with signs of substantial erosion damage to the shoreline and damage to the sea grass bed at the point the wastewater was entering the lagoon.”

CRM said Imperial Pacific may object and seek an enforcement hearing by submitting a written response notice within 30 days of service of the order.

BECQ earlier fined Imperial Pacific $25,000 for the same violation, along with poor maintenance of the temporary erosion control silt fence, the excavation of an unpermitted trench under the fence line as a discharge point and the presence of ponding outside the fence line.

In his April 20, 2016 cease-and-desist order, BECCQ Administrator Frank Rabauliman ordered Imperial Pacific to pay a fine of $25,000 for those violations.

On April 12, 2016, CRM’s Castro told Imperial Pacific to pay a fine of $30,000 for violating her April 8, 2016 order that reduced the work hours at the construction site.

On April 9, 2016, the day after Castro informed Imperial Pacific that the hours of operations were to be limited to between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday, CRM enforcement staffers observed at 7 p.m. construction activity at the job site.

This happened again on April 10 and 11, 2016, according to CRM enforcement staff who saw continuing construction past 9 p.m.

“These are flagrant violations of the work-hour stipulation in the major siting permit as clearly outlined in the letter suspending work outside the hours indicated within the permit,” Castro said.

“Imperial Pacific had been warned [before] that continued violations would result in restricted work hours. Work being completed outside the hours specified in the CRM major siting permit would be a violation of the permit,” she added.