Dec. 1, 2003 – The Federal Aviation Administration has granted the Public Works Department four more years to close the Anguilla landfill, according to a published report.
Sonya Nelthropp, Public Works wastewater and solid waste manager and senior manager for federal compliance, said on Monday that a press conference will be held later this week to discuss the landfill situation. She said the meeting had to be coordinated with Property and Procurement Commissioner Marc Biggs and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
A Saturday Avis newspaper article cited an FAA letter authorizing the four-year extension. According to the report, the FAA granted the reprieve based on alternative measures Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood had submitted and which the agency found "acceptable." The article didn't say what the alternative measures are.
Nelthropp said on Monday that the press conference would include discussion of the letter.
Since 1996, the FAA has been telling the Port Authority, which owns the landfill property, to close the facility down because of the dangers to aircraft posed by scavenging birds and dogs and smoke from burning debris. In 1998, it set a deadline of Dec. 31, 2002, for doing so. The deadline came and went.
According to federal law, landfills may not be located within 10,000 feet of an airport. (See "Anguilla inaction may cost airports millions".)
The FAA then agreed to a schedule proposed by Public Works to have an interim plan for disposing of the island's solid waste, a bale-and-wrap facility, operating at the site by last month. The contract for the operation, with Landfill Technologies, a Puerto Rico company, was to have been issued by last January. The government awarded the job to the company in June of 2002.
Nelthropp said recently on WVWI Radio that negotiations with Landfill Technologies had reached a stalemate.
Biggs told the Senate Planning and Environmental Protection Committee on Sept. 13 that the company had submitted its "best and final" offer. He said the government would be making a decision in the next two or three weeks.
There have been no public announcements on the negotiations since then, as far as the Source could determine. Callwood and Biggs were on St. Croix on Monday, according to aides, and could not be reached for comment.
Sen. Louis Hill, who chairs the Planning and Environmental Protection Committee, said on Monday that he doesn't know of any announcement concerning resolution of the matter. He is holding a committee hearing at 10 a.m. Friday on St. Thomas where he said he hopes to get approval for the governor's proposed V.I. Waste Management Authority and send the bill on to the Rules Committee, the next stop before consideration by the full Senate.
The Anguilla landfill situation will doubtless come up at the meeting, as well, Hill said. Nelthropp and Callwood are among those who have been invited to testify at the hearing.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.