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Government Is Picking Up Abandoned Vehicles

April 11, 2005 – After a hiatus of more than a year, the government began towing abandoned vehicles to a plot of land adjacent to the Bovoni landfill, James O'Bryan said Thursday. He said that since the end of February the government has picked up 175 abandoned vehicles.
O'Bryan chairs the multi-agency task force charged with cleaning up the island.
He said the Coastal Zone Management permit for the site's tire shredder included a section that allowed the government to resume collecting 25 abandoned vehicles per day.
O'Bryan said that the batteries, oil and tires and other hazardous materials are removed from the vehicles. He said the batteries and oil are shipped off island, and the tires are stockpiled until the shredder is operational.
"We were there about a week and a half ago and saw nothing untoward," Jim Casey, coordinator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on St. Thomas said Monday.
He said the crew was following the protocol for removing the hazardous materials.
Clenicia Pelle, supervisor of the used oil, solid and hazardous waste programs at the Planning and Natural Resources Department, said Monday her team inspects the site weekly. Additionally, Planning receives a monthly report.
She said although the contractor has had kinks to work out, such as getting the tire shredder working, there have been no environmental problems.
"They didn't spill anything anywhere," she said.
O'Bryan said that the contractor, V.I. Recycling, ships what's left of the vehicles off island. He said one shipment has already gone and another is in the works.
No phone number could be located for V.I. Recycling.
O'Bryan said that an aerial survey showed the worst concentrations of abandoned vehicles in Nadir, along Brookman Road, Smith Bay, Tutu Highrise, and Bovoni.
He said that 50 abandoned vehicles were recently removed from the area around Lionel Roberts Stadium.
"We created 50 more parking spaces for Carnival," he said.
He said that owners are traced through the vehicle's Vehicle Identification Number. O'Bryan said the owners face a $250 lien when they go to register other vehicles.
O'Bryan acknowledged that some apparently abandoned vehicles may have been stolen. In that case, he said a police report should get the owner off the hook. For more background, (See "Dumping Of Junk Vehicles At Bovoni Concerns EPA").
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