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EPA Administrator Says St. John Development Is Cause for Concern

May 16, 2006 – St. John's unchecked development is a big concern for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg said Tuesday.
"Sediment is going into the water. These waters are vulnerable," he said.
Steinberg, who made his remarks while on a visit to St. Croix, said this could pose problems for St. John's tourism-based economy since the island's corals are a "wonderful tourist attraction."
He said that only 30 percent of St. John's buildings hook up to the wastewater treatment system, which means the rest have septic tanks that can cause environmental problems.
Steinberg called for limiting new construction to areas that can connect with the wastewater system.
"We want to encourage development where there is a sewer connection," he said.
However, St. John's wastewater system stops at the Cruz Bay outskirts, while many construction projects are underway and planned at the Coral Bay end of the island.
said progress has been made on the territory's sewage treatment problems, which forced federal government to issue a consent decree in an effort to improve the situation.
He said that St. Croix, which previously suffered a steady stream of sewage treatment plant problems, now seems to be doing better on that front.
Steinberg said two new sewage treatment plants are in the works for St. Thomas and St. Croix. In the past few years, new plants on St. Thomas and St. John both came on line.
Steinberg said that protection of the environment must go hand in hand with development.
He said that he's paying more attention to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico than his predecessors because the need is so great.
"This is an area of the world where a greener environment means a greener economy," he said.
Steinberg had nice words for V.I. Waste Management Authority Director May Adams Cornwall.
"The desire is there, the focus is there and the intent is there. I'm hopeful real progress can be made," he said.
He said that Cornwall faces fixing "years of environmental despoliation."
The Waste Management Authority was formed in response to five EPA consent decrees. In 1984 the EPA issued a consent decree about the territory's wastewater treatment plants. Another followed in 1998 regarding violations of the Clean Water Act at Bovoni landfill on St. Thomas.
In 2000 the EPA issued a consent decree about the Bovoni landfill's used oil collection center and another the following year concerning the Anguilla landfill on St. Croix. Lastly, a 2002 consent decree concerned used oil collection.
Steinberg said that the EPA cannot micromanage the local government, but the agency is willing to provide technical assistance.
He said that cleanup of the Tutu aquifer, which suffered contamination when toxic materials from area businesses leached in to the groundwater, is continuing with no problems. He said that there's no set date for project completion.
"It's long-term remedial action," he said.
Steinberg is in the Virgin Islands to visit various local and federal government agencies, including Planning and Natural Resources Department. He said he'll visit Buck Island Reef National Monument while in the territory.
He said he's already been to Anguilla landfill on St. Croix, an area that causes him concern because the land is despoiled and filled with scrap metals.
Steinberg also is presenting Environment Quality Awards to three V.I. residents – Doug White, Lillian Moolenaar and Mario Francis – for their work in helping to protect the environment.
He said that the private sector, working in conjunction with the local and federal governments, can make great strides in improving the territory's environment.
"I'm hopeful real progress can be made," he said.
He called on residents to do their part by conserving energy, recycling and participating in activities like beach cleanups.
EPA Administrator Says St. John Development is cause for Concern
Lynda Lohr
May 16, 2006 – St. John's unchecked development is a big concern for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg said Tuesday while on a visit to St. Croix.
"Sediment is going into the water. These waters [St. John's] are vulnerable," he said.
He said this could pose problems for St. John's tourism-based economy since the island's corals are a "wonderful tourist attraction."
He said that only 30 percent of St. John's buildings hook up to the wastewater treatment system, which means the rest have septic tanks that can cause environmental problems.
Steinberg called for limiting new construction to areas that can connect with the wastewater system.
"We want to encourage development where there is a sewer connection," he said.
However, St. John's wastewater system stops at the Cruz Bay outskirts, while many construction projects are underway and planned at the Coral Bay end of the island.
said progress has been made on the territory's sewage treatment problems, which forced federal government to issue a consent decree in an effort to improve the situation.
He said that St. Croix, which previously suffered a steady stream of sewage treatment plant problems, now seems to be doing better on that front.
Steinberg said two new sewage treatment plants are in the works for St. Thomas and St. Croix. In the past few years, new plants on St. Thomas and St. John both came on line.
Steinberg said that protection of the environment must go hand in hand with development.
He said that he's paying more attention to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico than his predecessors because the need is so great.
"This is an area of the world where a greener environment means a greener economy," he said.
Steinberg had nice words for V.I. Waste Management Authority Director May Adams Cornwall.
"The desire is there, the focus is there and the intent is there. I'm hopeful real progress can be made," he said.
He said that Cornwall faces fixing "years of environmental despoliation."
The Waste Management Authority was formed in response to five EPA consent decrees. In 1984 the EPA issued a consent decree about the territory's wastewater treatment plants. Another followed in 1998 regarding violations of the Clean Water Act at Bovoni landfill on St. Thomas.
In 2000 the EPA issued a consent decree about the Bovoni landfill's used oil collection center and another the following year concerning the Anguilla landfill on St. Croix. Lastly, a 2002 consent decree concerned used oil collection.
Steinberg said that the EPA cannot micromanage the local government, but the agency is willing to provide technical assistance.
He said that cleanup of the Tutu aquifer, which suffered contamination when toxic materials from area businesses leached in to the groundwater, is continuing with no problems. He said that there's no set date for project completion.
"It's long-term remedial action," he said.
Steinberg is in the Virgin Islands to visit various local and federal government agencies, including Planning and Natural Resources Department. He said he'll visit Buck Island Reef National Monument while in the territory.
He said he's already been to Anguilla landfill on St. Croix, an area that causes him concern because the land is despoiled and filled with scrap metals.
Steinberg also is presenting Environment Quality Awards to three V.I. residents – Doug White, Lillian Moolenaar and Mario Francis – for their work in helping to protect the environment.
He said that the private sector, working in conjunction with the local and federal governments, can make great strides in improving the territory's environment.
"I'm hopeful real progress can be made," he said.
He called on residents to do their part by conserving energy, recycling a
nd participating in activities like beach cleanups.
EPA Administrator Says St. John Development is cause for Concern
Lynda Lohr
May 16, 2006 – St. John's unchecked development is a big concern for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg said Tuesday while on a visit to St. Croix.
"Sediment is going into the water. These waters [St. John's] are vulnerable," he said.
He said this could pose problems for St. John's tourism-based economy since the island's corals are a "wonderful tourist attraction."
He said that only 30 percent of St. John's buildings hook up to the wastewater treatment system, which means the rest have septic tanks that can cause environmental problems.
Steinberg called for limiting new construction to areas that can connect with the wastewater system.
"We want to encourage development where there is a sewer connection," he said.
However, St. John's wastewater system stops at the Cruz Bay outskirts, while many construction projects are underway and planned at the Coral Bay end of the island.
said progress has been made on the territory's sewage treatment problems, which forced federal government to issue a consent decree in an effort to improve the situation.
He said that St. Croix, which previously suffered a steady stream of sewage treatment plant problems, now seems to be doing better on that front.
Steinberg said two new sewage treatment plants are in the works for St. Thomas and St. Croix. In the past few years, new plants on St. Thomas and St. John both came on line.
Steinberg said that protection of the environment must go hand in hand with development.
He said that he's paying more attention to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico than his predecessors because the need is so great.
"This is an area of the world where a greener environment means a greener economy," he said.
Steinberg had nice words for V.I. Waste Management Authority Director May Adams Cornwall.
"The desire is there, the focus is there and the intent is there. I'm hopeful real progress can be made," he said.
He said that Cornwall faces fixing "years of environmental despoliation."
The Waste Management Authority was formed in response to five EPA consent decrees. In 1984 the EPA issued a consent decree about the territory's wastewater treatment plants. Another followed in 1998 regarding violations of the Clean Water Act at Bovoni landfill on St. Thomas.
In 2000 the EPA issued a consent decree about the Bovoni landfill's used oil collection center and another the following year concerning the Anguilla landfill on St. Croix. Lastly, a 2002 consent decree concerned used oil collection.
Steinberg said that the EPA cannot micromanage the local government, but the agency is willing to provide technical assistance.
He said that cleanup of the Tutu aquifer, which suffered contamination when toxic materials from area businesses leached in to the groundwater, is continuing with no problems. He said that there's no set date for project completion.
"It's long-term remedial action," he said.
Steinberg is in the Virgin Islands to visit various local and federal government agencies, including Planning and Natural Resources Department. He said he'll visit Buck Island Reef National Monument while in the territory.
He said he's already been to Anguilla landfill on St. Croix, an area that causes him concern because the land is despoiled and filled with scrap metals.
Steinberg also is presenting Environment Quality Awards to three V.I. residents – Doug White, Lillian Moolenaar and Mario Francis – for their work in helping to protect the environment.
He said that the private sector, working in conjunction with the local and federal governments, can make great strides in improving the territory's environment.
"I'm hopeful real progress can be made," he said.
He called on residents to do their part by conserving energy, recycling and participating in activities like beach cleanups.
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