April 19, 2004 – The Senate Planning and Environmental Protection Committee has two public hearings scheduled this week — one to address environmental issues and the other concerning progress on capital insfrastructure plans.
On Tuesday at 6 p.m. on St. Thomas, the committee, chaired by Sen. Louis Hill, will hear from government officials and New Tutu residents about long-standing wastewater problems affecting the area.
The sewage lines in New Tutu are more than 40 years old, and there is no way to repair them, as the pipes run under people's homes, garages and porches. A private developer installed the lines without proper planning; the project was then turned over to the V.I. government.
Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood; Sonya Nelthropp, Public Works senior manger for federal compliance; Jim Casey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency local representative; Tutu resident Karen Issacs and other Tutu residents have been invited to testify.
On Friday at 6 p.m., the committee is to meet in the Legislative Conference Room in Cruz Bay to get an update on the Enighed Pond Commercial Port on St. John, the Red Hook Marine Terminal on St. Thomas's East End, and the waterfront apron revitalization project in downtown Charlotte Amalie.
Darlan Brin, Port Authority executive director, and Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett have been invited to testify.
Hill urged residents to attend both meetings and voice their concerns. "We need direct input from persons being affected by these environmental issues and the development and revitalization plans by the government in order to make informed decisions and propose meaningful legislation," he said.
There is one other Senate hearing scheduled for the remainder of this week: The Finance Committee is to meet at 10 a.m. Friday on St. Thomas to take testimony on expenditures from the Anti-Litter and Beautification Fund.
The fund became the center of controversy last month when Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission officials announced that they were discontinuing recycling and other programs after discovering that the commission's funding had been depleted for other purposes.
Officials of the St. Thomas and St. Croix ALBC groups, Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull, Ira Mills, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Callwood have been invited to testify.
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