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HomeNewsArchivesEPA UNDERTAKES ANOTHER HAZ-MAT CLEAN UP ON STT

EPA UNDERTAKES ANOTHER HAZ-MAT CLEAN UP ON STT

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is helping a St. Thomas church rid itself of some 475 gallons of old paint and other hazardous materials that would have otherwise cost the congregation $30,000 to dispose of properly.
On Friday, EPA crews began removing 475 one-gallon cans of solvent-based paints, adhesives and other materials from the lawn of Agape Seventh Day Adventist Church.
The variety of paints and chemicals had been in the church’s basement since the aftermath of Hurricane Marilyn in 1995. After suffering water damage, rust and the loss of labels, the church moved the cans to the lawn and requested help from the EPA to dispose of them. Some of the cans are already leaking.
"EPA is concerned that rain might wash the contents of the cans, which are considered hazardous wastes, into the groundwater beneath the site and pollute it, and that people might come in contact with the contents," said the EPA’s Nina Habib Spencer in a release.
The cleanup, estimated to cost $30,000, is being done under the EPA’s Superfund program and will take about three days, according to Spencer.
On Friday, EPA workers began an inventory of the cans. They plan to separate the cans according to their hazardous components, label them accordingly and then ship them off island for disposal. Shipping will most likely take place next month, Spencer said. EPA will also remove soil from the lawn of the church that was contaminated by the leaking cans.
Meanwhile, on St. Croix, a larger EPA clean up, this time for the V.I. government, that was started last January has been completed. The V.I. Department of Agriculture requested help from the EPA to remove 30 55-gallon drums of the pesticide Malathion. Subsequently, some nine cubic yards of Malathion contaminated soil were also removed from the Agriculture Department’s property at Lower Love.
The clean up, which was also done under the Superfund program, cost approximately $150,000.
The liquid Malathion was originally intended to be used for mosquito control by the V.I. Department of Health, which had inappropriately stored the pesticide and other hazardous materials at the Charles Harwood complex in Estate Richmond. In 1995 after the other hazardous materials were removed under EPA oversight, the Malathion was moved to the Lower Love site.
The drums, however, were stored outside and ultimately deteriorated from exposure to the elements. The Department of Health asked EPA for help in disposing of the drums in November 1999, Spencer said, and has agreed to reimburse the agency for its work.
The clean-up work on the two islands follows another project on St. Thomas last year.
It took the EPA six months and $500,000 to cleanup a V.I. government-owned warehouse in Sub Base. The Department of Property and Procurement-operated warehouse was filled with improperly stored chemical containers and potentially dangerous materials.
EPA found approximately 100, 50-pound containers of a chlorine-based oxidizer, herbicides, 300 cans of solvent-borne paint, caustics and 10 drums of unknown substances. Property and Procurement operated the warehouse for the storage and distribution of chemicals to different agencies within the government until the 1970s. Over the years, the warehouse fell into disrepair and materials stored inside, including several drums of waste oil, began to deteriorate.
The chemicals removed from the warehouse were loaded onto a cargo ship for transport to licensed disposal sites on the U.S. mainland.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is helping a St. Thomas church rid itself of some 475 gallons of old paint and other hazardous materials that would have otherwise cost the congregation $30,000 to dispose of properly.
On Friday, EPA crews began removing 475 one-gallon cans of solvent-based paints, adhesives and other materials from the lawn of Agape Seventh Day Adventist Church.
The variety of paints and chemicals had been in the church’s basement since the aftermath of Hurricane Marilyn in 1995. After suffering water damage, rust and the loss of labels, the church moved the cans to the lawn and requested help from the EPA to dispose of them. Some of the cans are already leaking.
"EPA is concerned that rain might wash the contents of the cans, which are considered hazardous wastes, into the groundwater beneath the site and pollute it, and that people might come in contact with the contents," said the EPA’s Nina Habib Spencer in a release.
The cleanup, estimated to cost $30,000, is being done under the EPA’s Superfund program and will take about three days, according to Spencer.
On Friday, EPA workers began an inventory of the cans. They plan to separate the cans according to their hazardous components, label them accordingly and then ship them off island for disposal. Shipping will most likely take place next month, Spencer said. EPA will also remove soil from the lawn of the church that was contaminated by the leaking cans.
Meanwhile, on St. Croix, a larger EPA clean up, this time for the V.I. government, that was started last January has been completed. The V.I. Department of Agriculture requested help from the EPA to remove 30 55-gallon drums of the pesticide Malathion. Subsequently, some nine cubic yards of Malathion contaminated soil were also removed from the Agriculture Department’s property at Lower Love.
The clean up, which was also done under the Superfund program, cost approximately $150,000.
The liquid Malathion was originally intended to be used for mosquito control by the V.I. Department of Health, which had inappropriately stored the pesticide and other hazardous materials at the Charles Harwood complex in Estate Richmond. In 1995 after the other hazardous materials were removed under EPA oversight, the Malathion was moved to the Lower Love site.
The drums, however, were stored outside and ultimately deteriorated from exposure to the elements. The Department of Health asked EPA for help in disposing of the drums in November 1999, Spencer said, and has agreed to reimburse the agency for its work.
The clean-up work on the two islands follows another project on St. Thomas last year.
It took the EPA six months and $500,000 to cleanup a V.I. government-owned warehouse in Sub Base. The Department of Property and Procurement-operated warehouse was filled with improperly stored chemical containers and potentially dangerous materials.
EPA found approximately 100, 50-pound containers of a chlorine-based oxidizer, herbicides, 300 cans of solvent-borne paint, caustics and 10 drums of unknown substances. Property and Procurement operated the warehouse for the storage and distribution of chemicals to different agencies within the government until the 1970s. Over the years, the warehouse fell into disrepair and materials stored inside, including several drums of waste oil, began to deteriorate.
The chemicals removed from the warehouse were loaded onto a cargo ship for transport to licensed disposal sites on the U.S. mainland.