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JUDGE: LET RUNWAY WORK CONTINUE

A Territorial Court judge Friday denied a request to halt construction on the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport runway extension project.
Lawyers for residents of Estate Yellow Cedar sought a temporary restraining order against the V.I. Port Authority project. Residents claimed that the Port Authority continued working on the project even after an agreed-upon cutoff date passed, according to Marital Webster, attorney for the Yellow Cedar Action Committee.
But Judge Edgar Ross denied the TRO on grounds that the plaintiffs didn’t show that there were no other adequate ways to resolve the situation. Webster and co-counsel Ronald Russell also blamed the Department of Planning and Natural Resources for not sending a representative to the hearing. Webster said he had been promised that someone from DPNR would appear.
But DPNR Commissioner Dean Plaskett said that he ordered his staff not to appear unless ordered by the court . Additionally, Plaskett said that after DPNR air pollution experts inspected the construction site and adjacent neighborhood, they found only minor violations. Plaskett said that nothing was found that rose to the level requiring DPNR to issue a cease and desist order.
The Port Authority’s acting director, Lloyd Romeo, said in a release Friday that the agency has done everything it could to address the concerns of the residents.
"We paid to temporarily relocate the residents who were affected by the dust while most of the major earthwork was being done," he said, adding that the work that caused the dust problems has been completed.
Romeo said the Port Authority is now cleaning the roofs, downspouts and cisterns of homes affected by the dust.
Still, Webster said he intends to refile the TRO request on Monday if no resolution is found over the weekend.
The project, to extend the runway to 10,000 feet from the present 7,600, resumed more than three months after it was halted. On March 28, the Port Authority board voted to stop the project after Yellow Cedar residents complained that dust stirred up by construction was causing health problems.
The $18 million project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2002. The current, and first, phase is expected to be finished in November.

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A Territorial Court judge Friday denied a request to halt construction on the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport runway extension project.
Lawyers for residents of Estate Yellow Cedar sought a temporary restraining order against the V.I. Port Authority project. Residents claimed that the Port Authority continued working on the project even after an agreed-upon cutoff date passed, according to Marital Webster, attorney for the Yellow Cedar Action Committee.
But Judge Edgar Ross denied the TRO on grounds that the plaintiffs didn’t show that there were no other adequate ways to resolve the situation. Webster and co-counsel Ronald Russell also blamed the Department of Planning and Natural Resources for not sending a representative to the hearing. Webster said he had been promised that someone from DPNR would appear.
But DPNR Commissioner Dean Plaskett said that he ordered his staff not to appear unless ordered by the court . Additionally, Plaskett said that after DPNR air pollution experts inspected the construction site and adjacent neighborhood, they found only minor violations. Plaskett said that nothing was found that rose to the level requiring DPNR to issue a cease and desist order.
The Port Authority’s acting director, Lloyd Romeo, said in a release Friday that the agency has done everything it could to address the concerns of the residents.
"We paid to temporarily relocate the residents who were affected by the dust while most of the major earthwork was being done," he said, adding that the work that caused the dust problems has been completed.
Romeo said the Port Authority is now cleaning the roofs, downspouts and cisterns of homes affected by the dust.
Still, Webster said he intends to refile the TRO request on Monday if no resolution is found over the weekend.
The project, to extend the runway to 10,000 feet from the present 7,600, resumed more than three months after it was halted. On March 28, the Port Authority board voted to stop the project after Yellow Cedar residents complained that dust stirred up by construction was causing health problems.
The $18 million project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2002. The current, and first, phase is expected to be finished in November.