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Congressional Committee Will Look at Territorial Sea Limit, St. John School Land

June 13, 2007 — A meeting of a congressional subcommittee in the territory next month will look at proposals by Delegate Donna M. Christensen to convey certain submerged lands to the V.I. government and provide land for a school on St. John.
The hearing of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs is set for 10 a.m. Monday, July 9, at Charlotte Amalie High School, according to a news release from Christensen's office.
Christensen chairs the subcommittee that oversees territorial affairs. The meeting will look at H.R. 59, a proposal to convey certain submerged lands to the government of the Virgin Islands and to extend the local territorial sea limit from three miles to nine miles, and H.R. 53, a proposal to authorize the secretary of Interior to enter into a long-term lease with the territory's government to provide land on St. John for a school.
"The submerged lands bill would extend our boundaries to nine miles, just as that of neighboring Puerto Rico," Christensen said, according to the news release. "We will examine an amended bill, as our original version extended the limit to 12 miles."
The committee is inviting testimony about the proposed legislation from the governor, the chairman of the 28th Legislature's Planning and Environmental Protection Committee, the commissioner of Planning and Natural Resources, the director of Fish and Wildlife, the V.I. representative of the Caribbean Fisheries Management Council and representatives of V.I. fishermen.
"The St. John land swap for school bill will be heard at 6 p.m. on the same day, Monday, July 9 at a location to be determined on St. John," Christensen said. "The bill would authorize the secretary of Interior to enter into a long-term lease with the (territory's government) to provide land on St. John for the establishment of a school."
Invitations to that meeting are extended to the governor, the National Park superintendent, the senator at large and representatives of St. John community groups, the news release said.
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