US approaches BVI over trash burning

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US VIRGIN ISLANDS, March 11, 2021 - In a statement on March 10, USVI Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. said that at his urging, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials at the U.S. State Department have formally asked the Government of the BVI to stop polluting the air of St. John by burning trash in the open on neighboring Tortola.

According to the Governor, the U.S. State Department requested from United Kingdom and BVI officials that they immediately cease the practice of open rubbish burning at the Pockwood Pond incineration facility, and that they give full priority to a new facility that will responsibly handle the island’s waste disposal.

“Our friends in the British Virgin Islands must responsibly process their waste. It is unfair for the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands, specifically residents of St. John, to have their air quality diminished by the actions of a neighboring country,” the Governor stated.

He added, “As a good neighbor, the Government of the British Virgin Islands has an obligation not to jeopardize the health of residents of St. John, as well as their own people.”

According to USVI authorities, State Department officials encouraged BVI authorities to stockpile excess rubbish in a properly managed site on Tortola, so as to make possible delayed incineration without open burning. They also proposed an alternative solution of setting up an interim solid waste disposal program until the new incinerator at Pockwood Pond is completed.

Source: VI Platinum News