Crucians whose roofs, cisterns and yards are still affected by Limetree Bay refinery’s May 12 oil flare can have them cleaned by Limetree for free, without having to sign a waiver, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. announced Monday.
“It is standard practice that if you have been affected by an oil spill, the refinery fixes it,” Bryan said during his weekly press conference. “This is what I thought was happening. But it seems some residents have been asked to sign waivers. I made it clear to Limetree that once you have been affected, you don’t need to sign anything to be made whole.”
On May 12 a massive fireball and flare at the refinery sent oil droplets showering over neighborhoods from Clifton Hill to Frederiksted and beyond. The rest is history, as Limetree closed, first temporarily and now indefinitely.
But the cleanup process confused the affected residents, many of whom were visited by Limetree claims adjusters offering money in exchange for a release of possible bodily injury and property claims, past, present or future. In a motion filed June 12 in Superior Court, attorney Lee Rohn sought to compel the refinery to clean up from the oil spray without requiring a waiver of claims. One of Rohn’s plaintiffs alleged that Limetree inspected households and offered help to those who signed, leaving those who did not to fend for themselves.
“The refinery has made clear if you want your cistern cleaned or your roof washed down, you are under no obligation to sign a waiver,’ Bryan said. “They put the oil on your roof. They are responsible for taking it off, they assured me.”
Residents who would like to take advantage of Limetree’s cleanup services free of charge can call Limetree Bay’s Incident Hotline at 340-692-3199 or contact St. Croix Administrator Sammuel Sanes at 340-773-1404 for assistance.