26 Jul 2017
- By Junhan B. Todiño – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
THE revised anti-littering law is workable and is now being implemented, Bureau of Environmental Coast Quality Administrator Frank Rabauliman told the Saipan Rotary Club on Tuesday.
“Along with education there should be enforcement,” he said, adding that they have 89 certified anti-littering enforcers on Rota, Tinian and Saipan.
Rabauliman and Division of Environmental Quality director Ray Masga discussed with the Rotarians the progress of implementing the revised anti-littering law which was first enacted in 1989.
Rabauliman said there were “lots of flaws” in the original law which, for example, did not allow the fines collected from violators to support and sustain the program.
In addition, he said, enforcers were reluctant to issue citations due to the hefty penalty — $200 to $500.
“We proposed lots of revisions in 2003. It took years before the House finally passed amendments to the law, but the Senate sat on them,” he said.
Finally, in Aug. 2016, the revised anti-littering law was enacted and Rabauliman said they immediately began using certified apprehending officers in the CNMI.
As of this month, he said they have issued nearly 100 citations, adding that, on one occasion, they issued 13 citations in one day.
Under the revised law, P.L. 19-53, a violation will be punished by a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $5,000. Fines collected will be used to sustain the anti-littering program.
“The anti-littering campaign is not entirely a BECQ matter — other agencies are involved,” Rabauliman said, referring to the Department of Public Lands, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Lands and Natural Resources, Public Health, the mayor’s office and the zoning office.
He said any individual can help implement the anti-littering by reporting violations to the authorities.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/97199-revised-anti-littering-law-workable-says-rabauliman