At VIFreepSt. Croix News

Storage of Oil and Gas Tanks Banned at Gallows Bay Port

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CHRISTIANSTED – Calling them a “serious risk to the surrounding community,” the Virgin Islands Port Authority is banning the storage of tanks used to transport petrochemicals at the Gallows Bay Marine Facility effective August 1, according to VIPA.

The ban applies to gasoline cylinders or tanks containing “petrochemicals, liquid propane or natural gas” and comes in the wake of Town Hall meeting held June 25 to protest the facility storing explosives in close proximity to residential housing.

“Operators berthing vessels at the facility with cargo and a maximum of three gas tanks will be allowed to unload and transfer the tanks from the vessels by trucks,” VIPA Executive Director Carlton Dowe said. “The tanks must be removed from the facility immediately. Staging of gas tanks at the Gallows Bay Marine Facility will be prohibited.”

The Port Authority has designated the Gordon A. Finch Molasses Pier on St. Croix’s south shore as the facility for staging of all gas tanks and the unloading of more than three tanks, Dowe said, adding that more fuel has had to be imported to the island since announced closing of the HOVENSA oil refinery in January 2012.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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