Koror, Palau – The Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB) held its regularly scheduled board meeting on December 24, 2019 to discuss several permit applications submitted to the Board and legal matters.

There were several approved residential applications. These included Dilubech Samil to construct a 24’W x 34’L residential building connecting to an onsite septic system in Ngebudel, Airai State; Destiny Trolii to fill a 30’W x 55’L area in Iyebukel, Koror State; ArzeniaRechirei to construct a 24’W x 34’L 2-bedroom residential building connecting to an onsite septic system in Ngetkib, Airai State; Nixon Rdialul to fill and level an area of approximately 100’W x 100”L using a road construction debris in Ked, Airai State; David Clare to construct a residential 2-bedroom house connecting to the public sewer line in Ngeruliang, Melekeok State; Donesia Besebes to construct a 14’W x 18’L wooden home on stilts near existing home connecting to anonsite septic system in Ngarmetong, Ngerchelong State; Ismael Aguon to construct a 30’W x 40’L 2-bedroom house with an onsite septic system in Ngerusar, Airai State; Mars Olkeriil to construct a 3’6”W x 4’6”L x 3’D outhouse for the summer house use in Imul, Aimeliik State; Charlene Von to construct a 16’W x 34’L kitchen extension that will be connected to an existing public sewer line in Dngeronger, Koror State; Susau Bianca Shmull to construct a 43’L x 37’W 3-bedroom residential building connecting to an onsite septic system in Imul, Aimeliik State; Deluise Ngirusong to construct a 2-bedroom 24’W x 30’L residential building connecting to an onsite septic system in Ngermentengel, Ngeremlengui State; Jarvis Mad to cut backfill and level soil for future construction of residential house in Ngerubsang, Melekeok State; Masayuki Adelbai to grade and level a 50’W x 60’L area for future construction of residential house in Ngeriil, Ngarchelong State; Ronny Ngiracheriang to construct an additional floor with 2-bedroom, 1-bath on top of existing residential building connecting to a new onsite septic system in Ngerusar, Airai State; Elia Kual to construct an extension of a house 16’W x 24’L in Ngeriil, Ngarchelong State; Uchel and Lorraine Madlutk to construct a 24’W x 32’L 2-bedroom house connecting to an onsite septic system at Ngermetengel, Ngaremlengui State; Melayong D. Anastacio to construct a 32’L x 24’W 2-bedroom house connecting to a public sewer system in Medalaii, Koror State; Waymine Towai to construct a 30’W x 40’L 2-bedroom residential building connecting to an onsite septic system in Ngerikiil, Airai State; Shallum Etpison to construct a 2-storey, 4-bedroom house connecting to a common septic tank andleaching field in Ngetkib, Airai State;

Melwis Ngirmechaet to construct a 38’W x 48’L summer house with kitchen and toilet connecting to an onsite septic system in Ngerngesang, Ngchesar State; and Aphton Techur to grade and level the area and construct a 30’L x 24’W 2-bedroom house connecting to an onsite septic system in Ordomel, Airai State.  Following the recent burning of their previous store Ulimang, Ngaraard State, Stalin Bai will construct a 16’W x 24’L store on the same area.

There were numerous commercial projects that were discussed and approved by the Board.

A hotel project belonging to China Tourism Development Group Inc. was granted approval for the construction of a 10-story hotel, consisting of 70 hotel guest rooms, 38 apartment units, offices and other amenities in Ikelau, Koror State. Several considerations included measures to prevent noise/vibration impacts, and measures to include a percentage of local workers and interpreters at the site for the purpose of monitoring the progress, and connection to a public sewer line once Koror-Airai Sanitation Project is completed and operational.

Henry T. Goto proposed to renovate an 8’W x 20’L container home/store and construct a kitchen and toilet facility extension to the container home connecting to the existing septic tank in Kesebelau, Airai State.

WESPAC Construction Co. were granted a permit to occupy the 12 existing rooms of the current workers’ barracks in Ngerusar, Airai State, connecting to the existing septic tank and constructing new leaching field to accommodate the additional load.

Ivan Rudimch proposed two projects, construction of a warehouse and a commercial building, as well as temporary stockpile of debris from the road construction in Ngerusar, Airai State. August Remoket proposed to grade, level and cap a 10’W x 330’L access road in Ollei, Ngarchelong State. The Palau International Coral Reef Center proposed to construct a toilet facility connecting to a public sewer line in M-Dock, Koror State.

Van Isaac proposed to construct a 30’L x 20’W office space with shower/toilet facility connecting to an existing public sewer system in Malakal, Koror State with the condition that due to on-going rehabilitation work on the sewer line, connection to the public line is pending the completion and operation of the KASP.

Palau Mirage Development Inc./ Palau Coral Club Co., Ltd. proposed to conduct 10 soil-boring tests on land in Koror State with a depth ranging from 3-10 meters from the soil surface. This company also will install a storm drain diverting pipe for pond dewatering and removal of debris at Malakal, Koror State. The Board members recommended to work with Quarantine during pond dewatering.

Brian Melairei of Bureau of Public Works was awarded a permit to construct a 20’W x 1,850’L road including 3’W shoulders and swales in Ngermeskang, Ngeremlengui State, IP&E’s proposal to install a 2’W x 623’L fuel emergency shut-off valve in Malakal, Koror State, Shallum Etpison’s request to conduct soil boring tests on two separate lots in Idid, Koror State for future project considerations as well as Iked Etpison’s request to construct a 5’ x 8’ tin roof extension and resurfacing of existing parking lot in Idid, Koror State to accommodate a retail building.

The Board also entertained several legal issues during this meeting.

Western Caroline Trading Company (WCTC) for its West Plaza Hotel at Lebuu Street for constructing 9 rooms without a permit from EQPB, in violation of EQPB Permit PEA- 062-20.  Permit requested and approved was for 61 rooms, however, upon final inspection it was found that the total number of rooms constructed was 70 in total. All deviations from an approved EQPB permit is a violation of EQPB regulations and permit conditions.  A permit must be obtained for any changes in an approved permit.

The Board also entertained a violation from a ship that ran aground in the reefs causing damage of crushed corals within the 138 feet Wide by 5 feet deep at the stern. On December 17, 2019.  EQPB Board issued a Notice of Violation to Palau International Traders Inc (PITI) and Lianchen Overseas Fisheries (CFA 17).  At this meeting the Board issued a fine of $10,000.00 for violation of EQPB Regulations on Earthmoving and Marine and Freshwater Quality.

The Board also discussed the Orders issued to Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) NOV/CEASE and Desist Orders 20-03 and 20-04 for violations of EQPB Marine and Freshwater Quality regulations and Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Regulations in Malakal, Koror State.

Mr. Iked Etpison to the Board regarding its application for Palau Platinum Resort and Residences project in Iyebukel, Koror State.

The Board also held a meeting with Angaur Governor Kennosuke Suzuky to address the removal of the grounded barge in Angaur State.As of this time, the owner(s) of the barge have not come forward to claim responsibility over the damages and/or the final disposal of the barge.  EQPB, Angaur State, Ministry of State and the Bureau of Transportation are working collaboratively to notify the owners, and to seek both short term and long-term solutions to address this barge currently grounded on the reefs of Anguar State.

The Board also approved the EQPB Functional Organizational Chart.

For more information, please contact the EQPB Office at 488-3600.Information about EQPB practices, meetings and permit operations, and EQPB updated regulations and forms are available by calling EQPB Office, email to eqpb@palaunet.com or website address https://www.palaugov.pw/eqpb.