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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsCongresswoman Stacey Plaskett Is “Happy” About Progress With EPA on STX’s Lead...

Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett Is “Happy” About Progress With EPA on STX’s Lead Water Issue

U.S. Virgin Islands Congressional Delegate Stacey Plaskett said she believes the EPA has done a great job regarding the St. Croix water issue. (Source file photo)

Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett addressed concerns over the lead-contaminated water on St. Croix during a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday after a community member asked for updates about the issue.

“We are really happy that the EPA has done a great job of meeting with us and sharing with us the information that they have in regards to this,” said Plaskett, who has also had a discussion with the governor over the matter.

She added that the federal emergency for the issue has been extended and can be extended further as needed.

“This is an adminstration priority,” said Plaskett. She added, “I think that sometimes, we as Virgin Islanders think when these kinds of things happen that this is only happening in our community, but this is going on for communities throughout the United States. The District of Columbia is in a campaign for lead-free 2030. So this is something all of us throughout the United States are really concerned with.”

According to the congresswoman, the EPA administrator is holding daily technical meetings with WAPA, and no level of lead is considered safe.

“WAPA did the right thing by saying that there was concern about the source of red and brown water, and that triggered EPA coming in and doing testing,” said Plaskett.

After sample testing, the biggest source of lead appears to stem at the distribution meters. Testing at homes is being conducted as well, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is in collaboration with the EPA to address the concerns.

“We were told by EPA that they also expect to do additional testing on St. Thomas and St. John as a follow up to the community concerns.”

Plaskett’s office is continuing to have conversations with the local government and federal authorities to ensure the lead contamination is being addressed.

“I have confidence that FEMA as well as EPA are working very diligently with our local government to do the things that’s necessary to ensure that each one of us and our families are safe,” said Plaskett, who added that her office will keep the community updated as additional information becomes available.

Vouchers and support are being given to those affected. Water and Power Authority’s CEO Andrew Smith shared more details about the water testing and efforts to mitigate the problem.

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