- Associated Press - Thursday, March 30, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - The United States Environmental Protection Agency is giving nearly $1 million to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for coral reef protection, cleaning up contaminated sites and monitoring pesticide use.

The agency announced the award Thursday, saying the money would help strengthen the commonwealth’s ability to protect the environment and the health of those who live there.

The money will be used by the islands’ Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, which used previous funds from the EPA to recover from Typhoon Soudelor. The storm slammed into Saipan as one of the strongest typhoons of 2015, causing widespread damage.

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The bureau will also use a portion of the latest EPA funds to help hotels become environmentally sustainable.

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