Dec. 19, 2002 – The Environmental Protection Division of the Planning and Natural Resources Department has determined that it is safe for residents of Estate Profit and surrounding areas to "resume the use of their cistern water," a DPNR release issued on Thursday stated.
The safety of water became an issue after an accidental release of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere at the Hovensa refinery on Dec. 5. Hovensa subsequently had water samples from Estate Profit cisterns tested in its in-house laboratory and by an off-island lab approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Those tests indicated the water was not contaminated and was safe to use, Hovensa said in a release issued on Dec. 10. On Dec. 13, however, DPNR said Estate Profit and Clifton Hill residents should not use their cistern water. Hollis Griffin, head of the Environmental Protection Division, said he had not received a report from Hovensa on the results of the testing.
Hovensa spokesman Alex A. Moorhead said in response that the company had provided the results and additional information requested by the division, and that "a failure in communications" was to blame for the public receiving contradictory information. See "DPNR: Don't use water in areas near refinery".
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