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HomeNewsArchivesWaste-to-Energy Plants Still on Hold, WMA Officials Say

Waste-to-Energy Plants Still on Hold, WMA Officials Say

After years of sewage spills into the ocean, the V.I. Waste Management Authority Board on Thursday approved a contract to fix the Lagoon Street force main in Frederiksted; however, the future of the territory’s first waste-to-energy plant remains at a standstill until the Legislature moves forward.

The Lagoon Street Pump Station has had a long history of causing raw sewage to flow into the gut, which flows openly into the ocean at Frederiksted beaches. In 2005 and again in 2010, failures at the pump station caused the Department of Planning and Natural Resources to issue warnings to residents to abstain from swimming because of environmental safety hazards; and in March 2010, U.S. District Judge Curtis Gomez ordered that WMA immediately repair all 75 of the damaged or inoperable pumps territory-wide.

WMA’s Executive Director May Adams Cornwall also addressed the proposal by Alpine Energy Group to construct waste-processing facilities on St. Thomas and St. Croix that will dispose of the territory’s solid waste, by pelletizing it into fuel, and a power plant facility which uses solely solid waste to generate power.

According to WMA Communications Manager Stella Saunders, the authority is starting to educate the community about the plan, but they cannot move forward without the Legislature’s approval of a lease-agreement near the Bovoni Landfill. While the St. Croix facility will be housed and operated on private property at Renaissance Park, the St. Thomas facility will be on government land, which has caused the process to be held up for months.

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“We can’t do anything yet. We’re still waiting for the lease to be sent from Government House to the Legislature,” Saunders said.

Additionally, Cornwall provided a status update on building a transfer station and closing St. Croix’s Anguilla Landfill. The FAA wants the landfill shut down because of its proximity to Rohlsen Airport and has previously withheld funds from the V.I. Port Authority to get the landfill closed and has given them a deadline of Jan, 31, 2012.

However, Cornwall said they are going to struggle to make that happen. Cornwall thinks they will be lucky if they can get the project done by Feb. 22, 2012

The V.I. Port Authority is threatening to fine WMA $1,000 per day after the deadline, so the heat is on for the authority to make it happen. Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls, who also sits on the VIPA Board, suggested that a meeting be held within the next two weeks to address the issues.

The WMA board also approved:
-a $62,105 contract with GEC, LLC for repairs already made to the Fig Tree force main, after last year’s sewage spill on Hess Rd on St. Croix.

-a $1.19 million contract with Island Roads Corporation with a term of one year for the Cruz Bay Ejector Station upgrades, which will be financed by a grant from the EPA in order to keep up with the expansion of the area serviced by the VIWMA wastewater system.

– a $1.04 million contract with VI Recycling Company for ongoing scrap metal management and disposal at the Bovoni and Anguilla Landfills, and the Susannaberg Transfer Station, which is retroactive to Jan. 2010 to May 26, 2012.

Attending Thursday’s meeting were board members Winston Adams, Dodson James, Stephen Jones Sr., J. Brion Morrisette and Smalls; Llewellyn Reed was absent.

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After years of sewage spills into the ocean, the V.I. Waste Management Authority Board on Thursday approved a contract to fix the Lagoon Street force main in Frederiksted; however, the future of the territory’s first waste-to-energy plant remains at a standstill until the Legislature moves forward.

The Lagoon Street Pump Station has had a long history of causing raw sewage to flow into the gut, which flows openly into the ocean at Frederiksted beaches. In 2005 and again in 2010, failures at the pump station caused the Department of Planning and Natural Resources to issue warnings to residents to abstain from swimming because of environmental safety hazards; and in March 2010, U.S. District Judge Curtis Gomez ordered that WMA immediately repair all 75 of the damaged or inoperable pumps territory-wide.

WMA’s Executive Director May Adams Cornwall also addressed the proposal by Alpine Energy Group to construct waste-processing facilities on St. Thomas and St. Croix that will dispose of the territory’s solid waste, by pelletizing it into fuel, and a power plant facility which uses solely solid waste to generate power.

According to WMA Communications Manager Stella Saunders, the authority is starting to educate the community about the plan, but they cannot move forward without the Legislature’s approval of a lease-agreement near the Bovoni Landfill. While the St. Croix facility will be housed and operated on private property at Renaissance Park, the St. Thomas facility will be on government land, which has caused the process to be held up for months.

“We can’t do anything yet. We’re still waiting for the lease to be sent from Government House to the Legislature,” Saunders said.

Additionally, Cornwall provided a status update on building a transfer station and closing St. Croix's Anguilla Landfill. The FAA wants the landfill shut down because of its proximity to Rohlsen Airport and has previously withheld funds from the V.I. Port Authority to get the landfill closed and has given them a deadline of Jan, 31, 2012.

However, Cornwall said they are going to struggle to make that happen. Cornwall thinks they will be lucky if they can get the project done by Feb. 22, 2012

The V.I. Port Authority is threatening to fine WMA $1,000 per day after the deadline, so the heat is on for the authority to make it happen. Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls, who also sits on the VIPA Board, suggested that a meeting be held within the next two weeks to address the issues.

The WMA board also approved:
-a $62,105 contract with GEC, LLC for repairs already made to the Fig Tree force main, after last year’s sewage spill on Hess Rd on St. Croix.

-a $1.19 million contract with Island Roads Corporation with a term of one year for the Cruz Bay Ejector Station upgrades, which will be financed by a grant from the EPA in order to keep up with the expansion of the area serviced by the VIWMA wastewater system.

- a $1.04 million contract with VI Recycling Company for ongoing scrap metal management and disposal at the Bovoni and Anguilla Landfills, and the Susannaberg Transfer Station, which is retroactive to Jan. 2010 to May 26, 2012.

Attending Thursday's meeting were board members Winston Adams, Dodson James, Stephen Jones Sr., J. Brion Morrisette and Smalls; Llewellyn Reed was absent.