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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, July 24, 2024


April 16, 2002 – A newly formed partnership called St. Croix Renaissance Group plans to acquire and revitalize the St. Croix Alumina site, but officials were reluctant on Tuesday to disclose their plans in advance of a press conference called for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the St. Croix Alumina Recreation Center.
St. Croix Alumina, owned by the Aluminum Company of America, commonly called Alcoa, ceased operations in January of 2001. Company officials said economic and competitive conditions forced the closing.
An effort is under way to remove an oil plume created between 1978 and 1991 by St. Croix Alumina and Hovensa's predecessor, Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corp. The oil plume, which contaminated the Kingshill aquifer, came from oil that leaked from storage tanks and underground piping. It seeped into the ground and eventually reached the aquifer.
St. Croix Renaissance Group is a partnership of EnergyAnswers of Puerto Rico, Boston-based Brownfields Recovery Corp., and Virgin Islander Myron Allick.
Allick, a St. Croix native, most recently was general manager of Starfish Market in Cruz Bay. Starfish principal owner David Mugar is a co-founder of Brownfields.
EnergyAnswers spokeswoman Mary Ann Mahoney said last week that company officials would not discuss their plans until the press conference. Mugar did not respond to a telephone message left at the Boston office, and Allick could not be reached.
According to a news release issued Tuesday, St. Croix Renaissance is assessing St. Croix Alumina's equipment and resources with the goal of reusing them. Additionally, it is analyzing the site's historic ruins and ecological assets to ensure they are restored, protected and effectively incorporated into the final site design. The company expects to implement a multi-faceted plan that will bring the site back into productive use.
The company expects to "create new jobs, manage the island's solid waste in an economical and timely manner, attract new sustainable industries to the island, generate numerous business opportunities for local companies, and to protect and restore the island's natural environment," the release stated.
There was no elaboration of the reference to managing the island's solid waste. However, the V.I. government has been under federal orders for several years to shut down the Anguilla landfill on St. Croix. The Federal Aviation Administration has said the landfill — the island's solid-waste dump — must be closed by the end of this year or it will halt air traffic at the adjacent Henry E. Rohlsen Airport because of the hazards scavenging birds and frequent dump fires pose to aircraft taking off and landing.
According to testimony before a Senate committee in March, the government sent out a request for proposals to build an interim waste-processing facility at the end of February.
Brownfields Recovery's web site states that the company was founded in 1996 as an offshoot of Environmental Reclamation Inc. to acquire, remediate and redevelop environmentally impacted properties.
Mugar and associate Jack Thomas formed Environmental Reclamation to deal with migrating contamination from a Mugar Enterprises-owned shopping center. Thomas is president of Brownfields.
The objective of EnergyAnswers is to develop integrated solid waste management solutions with environmentally sound resource recovery technologies. The company plans to reach "zero disposal" by effectively recovering all the resources in the materials now seen as "waste."
EnergyAnswers Corp., based in Albany, New York, formed a development partnership in 1997 with investors in Puerto Rico and is currently working to establish a 2,000- ton-per-day resource recovery facility on the island.
The company was founded in 1981. In addition to its Puerto Rico facility, it has plants in Agawam, Pittsfield and Cape Cod, Mass.; as well as Caanan and Menands, New York. Patrick F. Mahoney is president and chief executive of both the parent company and its Puerto Rico subsidiary.
For more information about the two companies, visit the Brownsfields Recovery and EnergyAnswers web pages.

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