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May 15, 2007 Senator-at-Large Carmen Wesselhoft said Friday that the road closest to HOVENSA should be rerouted in order to lessen disruption in the event of any possible security breach or accident at the plant.
Wesselhoft, who chairs the 27th Legislature's Committee on Public Safety, Homeland Security and Justice, said Friday's bomb threat should serve as a "wake-up call".
"I was on St. Croix Friday morning and traffic appeared backed up for miles," she said. "In the event of a real emergency there would be great difficulty in evacuating effectively and many lives would be placed at risk. The traffic congestion made it clear to me that there is not an adequate comprehensive evacuation plan in place."
Wesselhoft said she understood the need to close HOVENSA/ Castle Coakley Road as a security precaution, but that there were other options that must be explored.
"It is time that HOVENSA and the Government make plans to reroute HOVENSA/Castle Coakley Road," she said. "In this day and age HOVENSA, unfortunately, remains a target and we need to take steps to lessen the risks to our people."
Wesselhoft said she would call a meeting of HOVENSA, VITEMA and Public Works officials in order to determine how to better handle any future crisis.
The senator is also concerned about security and evacuation plans in regard to WAPA.
"This also must be addressed," she said.
The Senator-at-Large said the perpetrator of the latest bomb threat should be found and dealt with harshly.
"This person has served to disrupt the lives of thousands of St. Croix residents," she said. "We are a nation at war and must take these kinds of threats extremely seriously."