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HomeNewsArchivesMold Problem Displacing Officers and Agencies at St. Croix Facility

Mold Problem Displacing Officers and Agencies at St. Croix Facility

May 7, 2008 — Mold-remediation efforts have forced moves by police officers and others at the Patrick Sweeney Headquarters on St. Croix, and come 8 a.m. Monday the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will move its driver's license system from the compound's upper building to the lower building at Inspection Lane.
That section of BMV will close Thursday and Friday so computers and other equipment can be moved, but will be fully operational Monday, said Jerris Browne, the agency's director, during a press conference Wednesday on St. Thomas.
The V.I. Police Department has worked with Environmental Concepts since November to investigate the mold situation at the building, according to Police Commissioner James H. McCall. As the investigation progressed, about 90 percent of the officers working at the compound were moved to other posts around the island, he explained.
The VIPD has also worked with local Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) officials and staff from the Public Works and Health departments to get a proper assessment on conditions at the building, McCall said.
On Tuesday evening a Department of Health inspection officer issued a citation calling for the immediate closure of Patrick Sweeney. Until the citation was issued, VIPD didn't "know the gravity" of the mold situation at the compound, McCall said.
However, the citation was not issued according to Department of Health procedures and is currently being reviewed, said Health Commissioner Vivian Ebbesen-Fludd. While awaiting the completion of an "official assessment," the department will continue working with the VIPD and other government agencies to come up with remediation and business plans to handle the mold, along with alternate schedules for both the VIPD and BMV operations, she explained.
Both McCall and Ebbesen-Fludd said that they don't expect that the compound will "be abandoned."
Environmental Concepts' assessment of the building is still ongoing, but a report issued by the company shows that so far four types of fungi have been found in the facility: stachybotrys, aspergillus, cladosporium and penecillium.
Stachybotrys is a fairly common type of mold that grows on water-damaged materials such as ceiling tiles, insulation, wallpaper, wood and sheet rock, according to various websites.
Prolonged exposure to cladosporium, another common type of mold, can weaken the immune system, according to healthandenergy.com. It also causes severe infections when it comes in contact with small cuts or skin abrasions.
Recommendations in the report include:
— immediate mold remediation (if remediation does not occur soon, the "fungi will multiply rapidly and it will only worsen the situation very quickly," the report says);
— kill off stachybotrys colonies in the compound's ceiling tiles before they become airborne; and
— replace all ceiling tiles with mold-resistant Styrofoam tiles.
A leaky roof on the compound also needs to be fixed, and once that's complete, the cleanup process can begin, McCall said.
There is currently no sign of asbestos in the facility, Ebbesen-Fludd added.
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May 7, 2008 -- Mold-remediation efforts have forced moves by police officers and others at the Patrick Sweeney Headquarters on St. Croix, and come 8 a.m. Monday the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will move its driver's license system from the compound's upper building to the lower building at Inspection Lane.
That section of BMV will close Thursday and Friday so computers and other equipment can be moved, but will be fully operational Monday, said Jerris Browne, the agency's director, during a press conference Wednesday on St. Thomas.
The V.I. Police Department has worked with Environmental Concepts since November to investigate the mold situation at the building, according to Police Commissioner James H. McCall. As the investigation progressed, about 90 percent of the officers working at the compound were moved to other posts around the island, he explained.
The VIPD has also worked with local Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) officials and staff from the Public Works and Health departments to get a proper assessment on conditions at the building, McCall said.
On Tuesday evening a Department of Health inspection officer issued a citation calling for the immediate closure of Patrick Sweeney. Until the citation was issued, VIPD didn't "know the gravity" of the mold situation at the compound, McCall said.
However, the citation was not issued according to Department of Health procedures and is currently being reviewed, said Health Commissioner Vivian Ebbesen-Fludd. While awaiting the completion of an "official assessment," the department will continue working with the VIPD and other government agencies to come up with remediation and business plans to handle the mold, along with alternate schedules for both the VIPD and BMV operations, she explained.
Both McCall and Ebbesen-Fludd said that they don't expect that the compound will "be abandoned."
Environmental Concepts' assessment of the building is still ongoing, but a report issued by the company shows that so far four types of fungi have been found in the facility: stachybotrys, aspergillus, cladosporium and penecillium.
Stachybotrys is a fairly common type of mold that grows on water-damaged materials such as ceiling tiles, insulation, wallpaper, wood and sheet rock, according to various websites.
Prolonged exposure to cladosporium, another common type of mold, can weaken the immune system, according to healthandenergy.com. It also causes severe infections when it comes in contact with small cuts or skin abrasions.
Recommendations in the report include:
-- immediate mold remediation (if remediation does not occur soon, the "fungi will multiply rapidly and it will only worsen the situation very quickly," the report says);
-- kill off stachybotrys colonies in the compound's ceiling tiles before they become airborne; and
-- replace all ceiling tiles with mold-resistant Styrofoam tiles.
A leaky roof on the compound also needs to be fixed, and once that's complete, the cleanup process can begin, McCall said.
There is currently no sign of asbestos in the facility, Ebbesen-Fludd added.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.