BECQ reduces laboratory fee for nitrate sampling analysis

The CNMI Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality (BECQ) recently announced that it has temporarily reduced its fee for the analysis of nitrate sampling performed by the Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Environmental Surveillance Laboratory.

Pursuant to the CNMI Drinking Water Regulation, the nitrate sampling fee is revised from $60.00 per sample to $40.00 per sample. This fee change will remain in effect until further notice by BECQ.

In their recent public notice, BECQ reminded the community that periodic nitrate sampling and analysis by Public Water Systems (PWS) is required under CNMI and federal regulations.

“BECQ understands that the significant reduction in the number of flights leaving the CNMI as a result of COVID-19 may make it more difficult and/or costly for public water systems to ship out nitrate samples for processing,” said BECQ Administrator Eli D. Cabrera.

“This fee reduction is intended to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 by assisting public water systems to receive accurate and timely nitrate results while ensuring that the DEQ Safe Drinking Water program can continue to protect public health and the environment,” he added.

“The Environmental Surveillance Laboratory’s new LACHAT QuickChem 8500 Flow Injection Analyzer (FIA) machine allows for more efficient and cost-effective nitrate sampling, so we here at BECQ determined that we have the capacity to process nitrate samples at a reduced rate without negatively impacting the operational expenses of the laboratory,” said BECQ Laboratory Manager Chat G. Bautista.

The public is encouraged to contact the DEQ Environmental Surveillance Laboratory Branch at 664-8500/8520 if they have any questions.

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