NEW YORK – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (VIWMA) have committed to an Administrative Order on Consent, which includes a plan of action to address certain conditions in one of the sewer lines of the Anguilla Waste Water Treatment Plant. The order on consent will improve the operation and maintenance measures undertaken by VIWMA at this sewer line, which will enhance the way that wastewater flows through the sewer line and could reduce hydrogen sulfide odors.
“This voluntary and binding compliance agreement is the result of coordination between EPA and the Virgin Islands government to address sewage pollution in environmental justice communities on St. Croix that are already disproportionately affected by environmental burdens,” said EPA acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan. “The Virgin Islands government has committed to comply with environmental standards to prevent and address pollution caused by defects in this sewage system.”
VIWMA owns and operates the Harold Thompson sanitary collection treatment system, also known as the Anguilla wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), in St. Croix. Sanitary sewer systems are designed to collect wastewater from homes and other buildings and convey it to a wastewater treatment plant. VIWMA is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the sewer lines that convey wastewater to the Anguilla WWTP.
EPA conducted unrelated air monitoring work in St. Croix beginning in May. As part of this air monitoring effort, EPA detected hydrogen sulfide emissions from sewer manholes in a sewer line that runs through the St. Croix Renaissance Park and the Melvin H. Evans Highway along the Anguilla sewer line. The Anguilla sewer line as well as the manholes are a components of the Anguilla WWTP sanitary sewer system. Hydrogen sulfide is produced during bacterial growth below the water line in any sewer pipeline. In addition, sediment and debris deposited at the bottom of a sewer pipeline will contribute to the formation of hydrogen sulfide.
EPA, VIWMA, and the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources (VIDPNR) have coordinated to determine what measures should be taken to improve maintenance of the Anguilla sewer line. The EPA’s Order on Consent requires VIWMA to submit to EPA a detailed plan of corrective measures that will be implemented to mitigate and address any issues at the Anguilla sewer line. In addition, VIWMA will conduct a comprehensive survey of the Anguilla sewer line and share its results with EPA. VIWMA has already started to take some of these corrective measures.
This Order on Consent focuses solely on operation and maintenance measures which VIWMA can implement to improve the conditions at the Anguilla sewer line, where the sewer manholes are located from which hydrogen sulfide emissions had been detected. This Order on Consent is not related to EPA’s work at Limetree Bay Terminals, LLC and Limetree Bay Refining, LLC.
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Author: Region 02