Saipan’s environment has been taking a hit with all the development that is going on in the island, said Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality administrator Frank Rabauliman.
He said that infrastructure improvements are essential to accommodate the needs of the developers. Improvements on the sewer, water, power, and traffic needs are some examples.
“When developers come through the major siting permit application, they are required to provide an environmental assessment or impact. [They report] what is the impact on water, traffic, sewer, all of those, and a lot of them have to include the environment,” said Rabauliman.
Rabauliman uses the upcoming Grand Mariana Casino & Hotel Resort as an example.
“They have offered to improve the Garapan drainage that goes out next to the Fiesta Resort, and that’s because that drainage would impact the lagoon there,” he said.
Rabauliman recognizes that environmental impacts increase as development increases, and with this, BECQ is doing everything in its power to minimize the effects.
“The role of BECQ and all of its sister agencies is to make sure that we minimize those environmental impacts. That is the purpose of all these permits; we provide all these conditions to see that all these impacts are minimized,” he said.