82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, July 1, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesMeetings Planned to Address Bovoni Health and Safety Concerns

Meetings Planned to Address Bovoni Health and Safety Concerns

May 9, 2008 — Citing concerns about Bovoni's health and environmental issues, as well as property values caused by inconsistent zoning, Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone has arranged for a hearing to bring the beleaguered community's issues into the public eye.
The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. May 19 in the legislature's Earle B. Ottley Legislative Conference Room.
The day before, on May 18, the community will host a public meeting of its own. The Bovoni Homeowners Association will hold a meeting at 4 p.m. at the Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.
Inconsistent zoning is at the heart of a number of Bovoni's problems, Malone said.
"I look forward to a productive public hearing that will produce an acceptable plan that specifically addresses the current land uses and future development of the Bovoni area,” Malone said in a news release.
"This [zoning] doesn't make any sense at all," Malone said. "It's not consistent, not uniform and it's not safe because of the environment. You are breathing in dust."
Malone said he is prepared to file a class action suit on behalf of the Bovoni residents whose health has been affected by the dust.
Health concerns for the area's residents are not new. Ten years ago, the Bovoni Landfill was labeled a public health hazard by the Centers for Disease Control's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. (For more information, click here.)
Today Bovoni's residential neighborhoods are bordered by fuel tanker storage facilities, which in turn are just across the street from the occasionally flammable dump, which is within sight of gas stations next to daycare operations. All of these features are overshadowed by the towering landfill.
Malone hopes the hearing will give residents an opportunity to discuss their concerns with members of the government to develop a uniform plan of development and land use.
Bovoni is degrading environmentally, Malone believes, and property values are "far below where they would be with uniform land-use planning."
The issue of the fuel tanker site adjacent to residences is an example of a need for land-use planning, he says.
Unhappy Neighbors
In the early weeks of this year, bulldozers cleared vegetation all the way to the back fence of Mercedes Berruz, one of the neighbors with property adjoining the tanker site. The bushes that had screened her quiet orchid garden were gone and in their place Berriz had to erect a screened greenhouse to protect her prize-winning orchids.
"I heard the noise and we went outside and the bulldozers started clearing out all the land adjacent to our homes," said Berruz, who believes that some of her plants died because of the dust and fumes associated with the excavation. "The dust went everywhere. They didn't put any plastic fence. They never told us they were coming. If they had advised us, I could have removed some of the plants that were going to be in the orchid show."
The Berruz's garden is no longer quiet and peaceful. Now the noise from the earthmoving equipment on the field next to her property is louder than the radio she uses to try to mask it.
While the source of the exhaust is no longer just a few feet from her house, its odor lingers. Berruz also pointed out the dust and flies that have accompanied the excavation.
Other concerns for Berruz are the lack of security on the site and the tankers' close proximity to homes. Even if the tankers are not full, the vapors from the fuel could still be combustible, she noted.
"Because there is no security there, I am losing sleep worrying that someone is going to shoot one of these tankers and it is going to explode," Berruz said. "And if one goes, all of them are going to go."
Berruz has seen schoolchildren cutting through the tanker area. They climb the tankers' ladders and throw rocks at the tankers, she said.
"This is a wakeup call for this area — not only do we have the dump, we also have trillions of tires collecting water and mosquitoes, and then you have also the old gas station and the new gas station across the street, and across from there we have the garbage trucks and we have the fumes from that," Berruz said. "It is very dangerous — they need to move the garbage trucks and the tankers and at least let us have a nice piece of land where we can see some green."
For more information about the upcoming meetings, contact Malone's office at 693-3582 or the Bovoni Homeowners Association at 714-2792.
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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,756FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
May 9, 2008 -- Citing concerns about Bovoni's health and environmental issues, as well as property values caused by inconsistent zoning, Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone has arranged for a hearing to bring the beleaguered community's issues into the public eye.
The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. May 19 in the legislature's Earle B. Ottley Legislative Conference Room.
The day before, on May 18, the community will host a public meeting of its own. The Bovoni Homeowners Association will hold a meeting at 4 p.m. at the Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.
Inconsistent zoning is at the heart of a number of Bovoni's problems, Malone said.
"I look forward to a productive public hearing that will produce an acceptable plan that specifically addresses the current land uses and future development of the Bovoni area,” Malone said in a news release.
"This [zoning] doesn't make any sense at all," Malone said. "It's not consistent, not uniform and it's not safe because of the environment. You are breathing in dust."
Malone said he is prepared to file a class action suit on behalf of the Bovoni residents whose health has been affected by the dust.
Health concerns for the area's residents are not new. Ten years ago, the Bovoni Landfill was labeled a public health hazard by the Centers for Disease Control's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. (For more information, click here.)
Today Bovoni's residential neighborhoods are bordered by fuel tanker storage facilities, which in turn are just across the street from the occasionally flammable dump, which is within sight of gas stations next to daycare operations. All of these features are overshadowed by the towering landfill.
Malone hopes the hearing will give residents an opportunity to discuss their concerns with members of the government to develop a uniform plan of development and land use.
Bovoni is degrading environmentally, Malone believes, and property values are "far below where they would be with uniform land-use planning."
The issue of the fuel tanker site adjacent to residences is an example of a need for land-use planning, he says.
Unhappy Neighbors
In the early weeks of this year, bulldozers cleared vegetation all the way to the back fence of Mercedes Berruz, one of the neighbors with property adjoining the tanker site. The bushes that had screened her quiet orchid garden were gone and in their place Berriz had to erect a screened greenhouse to protect her prize-winning orchids.
"I heard the noise and we went outside and the bulldozers started clearing out all the land adjacent to our homes," said Berruz, who believes that some of her plants died because of the dust and fumes associated with the excavation. "The dust went everywhere. They didn't put any plastic fence. They never told us they were coming. If they had advised us, I could have removed some of the plants that were going to be in the orchid show."
The Berruz's garden is no longer quiet and peaceful. Now the noise from the earthmoving equipment on the field next to her property is louder than the radio she uses to try to mask it.
While the source of the exhaust is no longer just a few feet from her house, its odor lingers. Berruz also pointed out the dust and flies that have accompanied the excavation.
Other concerns for Berruz are the lack of security on the site and the tankers' close proximity to homes. Even if the tankers are not full, the vapors from the fuel could still be combustible, she noted.
"Because there is no security there, I am losing sleep worrying that someone is going to shoot one of these tankers and it is going to explode," Berruz said. "And if one goes, all of them are going to go."
Berruz has seen schoolchildren cutting through the tanker area. They climb the tankers' ladders and throw rocks at the tankers, she said.
"This is a wakeup call for this area -- not only do we have the dump, we also have trillions of tires collecting water and mosquitoes, and then you have also the old gas station and the new gas station across the street, and across from there we have the garbage trucks and we have the fumes from that," Berruz said. "It is very dangerous -- they need to move the garbage trucks and the tankers and at least let us have a nice piece of land where we can see some green."
For more information about the upcoming meetings, contact Malone's office at 693-3582 or the Bovoni Homeowners Association at 714-2792.
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.