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Coast Guard Conducts Oil Spill Exercise At Limetree Bay Refinery On St. Croix

CHRISTIANSTED — Coast Guard, federal and local emergency responders in cooperation Limetree Bay conducted an oil pollution response exercise for two days this week at the south shore refinery.

The government-led exercise is a part of the National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) required under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

“These exercises are of the upmost importance to the collective preparedness and readiness of federal, local and industry emergency responders in cases involving a major pollution incident or a natural disaster in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Capt. Gregory H. Magee, Commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan. “The people of the U.S. Virgin Islands deserve the best plans and response to any given incident. To achieve this, it is crucial our Area Contingency Plan remains current and that our response community stays proficient in the execution of the plan during a real world incident.”

Coast Guard Conducts Oil Spill Exercise At Limetree Bay Refinery On St. Croix

“Limetree Bay appreciates the continued partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, as we work to further our commitment to occupational safety and environmental stewardship,” said Jeff Charles, Limetree Bay Vice-President of Terminal Operations. The restart of operations at Limetree has been made possible through a collborative relationship with our government partners, and investment in state of the art equipment and upgrades. This week’s exercise is an important component of Limetree’s comprehensive commitment to environmental protection and the health and safety of our employees, and the St. Croix community”.

During the exercise, participants will deploy response equipment to contain a simulated major waterside oil spill at the Limetree Bay facility from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 17th. People should not be alarmed by the increased presence of emergency responders and response equipment at the facility during the exercise.

The U.S. Coast Guard alongside federal and local area partners conduct emergency preparedness and pollution response exercises every year as part of established multi-year strategies to build capabilities and improve readiness levels. Planning, training and exercising are important components of the nation’s homeland security strategy and response capabilities.

The goal of the exercise is to evaluate the ability of the response organization in utilizing the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Incident Command System (ICS) as a response management system to form a Unified Command (UC) and provide a competent response and initial assessment of the potential impacts of an oil spill. The exercise also seeks to validate the Limetree Bay Facility Response Plan and current notification procedures and processes listed in the Area Contingency Plan (ACP) emergency responders are to follow during an oil pollution incident in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Emergency response equipment and vehicles that will be deployed to the Limetree Bay facility from federal, local and industry emergency responders include tug-boats, skimming vessels and oil containment boom.

The Coast Guard was faced with a real oil spill situation near Limetree Bay refinery in August.

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DPNR Commissioner Testifies Before Congress Remotely On Climate Change

WASHINGTON — The House Natural Resources Committee issued the following testimony by Jean-Pierre L. Oriol, commissioner of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, as part of a remote hearing entitled “Discussion on the Insular Area Climate Change Act” on Thursday:

Thank you Representative Grijalva for the opportunity to testify in support of the proposed “Insular Areas Climate Change Act” on behalf of the US Virgin Islands. Whether it is the 2015 federally-declared disaster for drought in the US Caribbean, the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in 2017, and Tropical Cyclone Gita in American Samoa or Super Typhoon Yutu in the Mariana Islands in 2018 – the people of the Insular Areas and the Territories of the United States are no strangers to damaging events associated with climate change. Our islands make minimal contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, yet they are experiencing overwhelming ecological, economic and cultural impacts from global climate change, which will dramatically increase over the next several decades. The combined effects of sea level rise, ocean acidification, increased storm intensity and frequency, significant changes in rainfall, coral bleaching, and temperatureinduced changes in the distribution of ocean productivity and fisheries are of great concern to all of the Insular Areas, and require addressing infrastructure improvements as well as sustainability and climate change adaptation planning.

Addressing climate change in an effective and timely manner is one of the most pressing challenges where sound environmental policy is also the best economic policy, and addresses key quality of life issues for present and future generations. For the US Virgin Islands, as we recover from the devastation suffered from two Category 5 hurricanes, we are focused on incorporating longterm resilience into our everyday way of life. The US Virgin Islands is involved in several initiatives related to assessing the impacts from climate change on our Territory. In conjunction with the University of the Virgin Islands, using funding from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, the VI’s Coastal Zone Management Program is developing a Coastal Vulnerability Index which will identify our susceptibility to different climate-related events such as sea-level rise, tsunamis, storm surge, drought, coastal flooding and coastal erosion; DOI’s Office of Insular Areas has provided funding to the Territory through its Coral Reef Initiative to install ocean acidification monitors at our long-term monitoring sites, and has also provided funding to the Territory for a 50kW microgrid at one of our hurricane shelter sites; the US Department of Energy is partnering on many initiatives with the Virgin Islands’ Division of Energy, including an energy rebate program, our “Sun Power” grant program and providing technical assistance with our Comprehensive Energy Strategy; the GVI is receiving support from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Program for the updating of our Hazard Mitigation Resilience Plan, which identifies threats across all sectors and strategies to be implemented as part of our long-term resilience; and lastly, but not exhaustive, I would also like to recognize the support given to us from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who is administering the Community-Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funding issued to the US Virgin Islands, which has a mandate for the US Virgin Islands to relate the activities in the third traunche of funds to the Hazard Mitigation Resilience Plan.

The proposed bill provides five sections directing the actions of our federal partners in assisting the Insular Areas and Territories with planning and implementation of climate resilience activities. The US Virgin Islands is supportive of all the directives in Titles II to VI. Overall, the USVI sees the significance of this bill as the proposed creation of programs and steady funding sources specifically for the Insular Areas and Territories to address impacts related to climate change. We applaud the bill’s sponsor for the language included in Title I, Section 101(c)(1) and (c)(2) related to “equitable baseline funding.” Many baseline formulas for assistance under federal programs use landmass or population as criteria in the allocation of funds, which means that the islands will likely always receive the least amount of funding; however, as islands, our areas are the most impacted by climate change, and therefore a different strategy should be implemented to assist our areas. It is our opinion that the passage of the Insular Areas Climate Change Act creates the equitable conditions for the islands to comprehensively address the challenges that will come as a result of climate change. I’d also like to highlight a few key points made in the bill…

As there are a number of programs proposed in the bill for funding between the Territories and the Freely Associated States (FAS), we would ask that the distribution of the funds be provided in the language of the bill. As the FAS is also eligible for sources of funds not available for the Territories (such as other international programs), we would recommend an 85% share of funded programs be dedicated to the Territories and 15% funding to FAS.

As a representative of the US Coral Reef Task Force, an inter-agency body comprised of 12 federal agencies and 7 jurisdictional partners plus the FAS, with the goal of protecting the coral reef ecosystems under and affiliated with the United States, I have witnessed first-hand the benefits of inter-agency collaboration described in Title I. It reduces redundancies, streamlines processing and often results in more efficient use of funds for project implementation. The Task Force should be a partnership between the federal family and the jurisdictions with the goal of promoting adaptation and implementation of appropriate response measures to enhance resilience.

Currently the Task Force only includes members of the federal family, but should include the islands as well.

The USVI is very supportive of the Coral Reef Prize Competition authorized under Title I, Section 103 of the bill. As the Caribbean Islands are faced with battling the effects of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease, and the Pacific Islands are increasing efforts for restoration in response to the 50% loss of coral in the last 6 years due to bleaching, awarding funds supporting innovative ideas for research and conservation in the Insular Areas will provide a great benefit for the management of coral reef ecosystems. The USVI would ask that the language also include “restoration” in addition to research and conservation, as we work with partners in more active management of the coastal coral reef ecosystems that protect our coasts and service our community with food, economy and quality of life.

Coastal water quality is both a human health and natural resource management issue that will be significantly impacted by climate change.

Climate will impact available drinking water and pose increased risks from stormwater discharge. Funding should be earmarked to upgrade the infrastructure to ensure adequate drinking water supply and effectively manage the volume and quality of ocean discharge of stormwater to protect the coastal coral reef ecosystem.

Under Title IV, Section 405 as it relates to opportunities for the development of offshore wind, the USVI would ask that consideration for language to include wave energy production be included. The monitoring buoys, to include those that are part of the Integrated Ocean Observing System, suggest that there is great potential for wave energy generations in the Virgin Islands. This potential may exist beyond the territorial limits of the USVI, in the US EEZ, and as such, we would not want to limit the potential for research and investment only to wind production.

As it relates to Title V, Section 503 for the development of an Insular Area Sustainable Infrastructure Grant Program, again we highlight the significant amount of funding associated with this program which would allow the islands to make significant improvements to the infrastructure systems. We would ask that language also be considered such that each insular area receive assistance from FEMA to standardize the hazard mitigation package that will be used to respond to and restore coastal natural resource loss after future natural disasters to maintain coastal protection, rather than such loss being on a case by case basis.

Lastly, on behalf of the Insular family, I would like to thank the bill sponsor for language in Title I, Section 102(a) proposing increasing the cost-share Insular Areas Climate Change Act match waiver from $200,000 to $750,000, as well as the many sections calling for the waiving of the match requirement for the different programs. This would impact not only programs covered under this bill, but across many of our territorial programs.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Representative Grijalva and the members of the Committee for the opportunity to address the proposed Insular Areas Climate Change Act. There are many benefits to the people of the Insular Areas and Territories that can be realized from the passage of this bill. This comprehensive strategy to address climate impacts to the islands will result, not only in improvement of our natural and built systems, but will also improve economic, social and cultural systems as well, providing a sound legacy for future generations. We look forward to Congress’s favorable consideration of this bill.

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SNAKES OF ST. CROIX! What To Do About Exotic Pets Once They Are Loosed Into Our Neighborhoods

CHRISTIANSTED — Todd Kirkpatrick of Estate Rattan wrote to the Virgin Islands Free Press this week and asked what to do with a nine-foot-long Boa constrictor that was living under a storage container in his yard.

What to do indeed. That is the problem plaguing many homeowners around the island as exotic pets become too big — or too unwieldy — or too dangerous to keep as domesticated animals in the house.

SNAKES OF ST. CROIX! What To Do About Exotic Pets Once They Are Loosed Into Our Neighborhoods
The Boa constrictor Todd Kirkpatrick found in Estate Rattan this week.

The National Park Service says that the snakes, deer, goats, sheep, cows, donkeys, cats, dogs, mongoose, rats, or pigs found in the U.S. Virgin Islands today are not native species to our islands.

People brought them here as pets, for agriculture, or as pest control. Some of the animals arrived by accident as stowaways in cargo brought to the island or as pets and domestic animals left to run wild.

SNAKES OF ST. CROIX! What To Do About Exotic Pets Once They Are Loosed Into Our Neighborhoods
Snake found on Arthur C. Petersen, Jr.’s property in Frederiksted.

“Today, these animals can severely impact native plants and animals,” the NPS said. “Mongoose are aggressive predators that feed on birds, reptiles, turtle eggs, and visitors’ lunchboxes. Goats, deer, and donkeys feed on native vegetation, and they can also spread seeds of invasive plants. Pigs uproot plants and can be aggressive toward humans.”

DPNR’s Division of Fish and Wildlife staff held an “Exotic Pets Amnesty” fair last February so that territorial residents of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas could obtain permits for their unusual animals and also get their questions answered.

SNAKES OF ST. CROIX! What To Do About Exotic Pets Once They Are Loosed Into Our Neighborhoods

Former Agriculture Commissioner Arthur C. Petersen, Jr. has documented on Facebook the extraordinary number of large snakes that have ended up in his backyard. Petersen’s solution is euthanization of the animals.

Since 2004, local biologist William Coles has personally captured 40 red tail boa constrictor snakes.

Coles brought one of the red tail boas to Government House in Christiansted for Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. to examine this month.

In 2016 alone, Coles said he caught 30 red tail boas. He is the chief of DPNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division.

Although considered a non-native species, the red-tailed boa or Boa constrictor, is not likely to be eradicated anytime soon from the island, according to Coles.

Since the beginning of the year, seven of the large, non-venomous snakes that are frequently kept and bred in captivity, have been discovered on St. Croix, and DPNR officials say residents can expect that number to grow.

But when it comes to what to do with the snakes — once they are discovered in their yards, many people on St. Croix said rather than conserve the snakes as Coles does — they sided with Petersen’s option of destroying them — because they are an invasive, non-native species.

“Kill it,” Vivian Greaux said.

“So deh mongoose dem deh on strike?” Silvia Gibbs said.

“You got a barbecue pit ? Cook it and eat it,” Nick Miles said.

“Just kill the damn snake,” Ricky Torres said.

SNAKES OF ST. CROIX! What To Do About Exotic Pets Once They Are Loosed Into Our Neighborhoods
Another snake found on Arthur C. Petersen, Jr.’s property in Frederiksted.

“How about dead!! Cuz he would be if I found him!” Brissette Gunner-Ortiz said.

“Interesting to see folks who are so outraged by racism are so keen to kill a creature who means them no harm,” Mike Kirschbaum said.

“Make some boots,” Boats Fueler said.

“NO, NO, it’s your friend! Would you rather have tree rats? Mice? These guys are not aggressive, some folks actually have them as pets. And they may even be protected! Check with DPNR,” Mike Kirschbaum replied to Vivian Greaux.

“I know and you are correct. Here in Florida the state is paying people to catch them because they are destroying the ecosystem of the Everglades. So, they are trying to control the population. I do realize they are valuable and harmless,” Mike Kirschbaum added to Vivian Greaux.

SNAKES OF ST. CROIX! What To Do About Exotic Pets Once They Are Loosed Into Our Neighborhoods

“Vivian Greux in Florida that snake is a big problem. With no natural predator, except maybe the black snake! it is multiplying and consuming local critters. As far as I know, the black snake may be one way to go, but I’m not sure,” Mike Kirschbaum also said.

“OMG. It looks dangerous,” Glenda Joseph said.

“I hope you will remove them all!! It is so sad for all our lives to live without snakes. And now I must live in fear!! They terrify me and are NOT NATURAL inhabitants here!! Please please help remove them!!” Jane Brown said.

SNAKES OF ST. CROIX! What To Do About Exotic Pets Once They Are Loosed Into Our Neighborhoods
Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. (left) stands next to biologist Willam Coles of DPNR who holds a red tail Boa constrictor on his arm.

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VIWMA Warns St. Croix Residents Of Sewage Overflowing Between Boardwalk, King Cross Street

CHRISTIANSTED — The Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (VIWMA) asked motorists to avoid the overflowing manhole in the downtown Christiansted area around the Boardwalk and government parking lot.

Residents with compromised immune systems should avoid standing water in this area near King Cross Street by Holgar Danske Hotel.

Motorists are advised to use an alternate route while VIWMA is actively working with contractors to repair the issue.

“Updates on changes that may affect public health and the environment will be provided,” the VIWMA said. “The VIWMA Preserving Paradise team apologizes for the inconvenience and would like to thank the community for their patience and cooperation.”

For more information, contact the Division of Education and Communications Management at 340-643-0410 or email

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Boats Anchored Too Closely Together In Magen’s Bay Draw The Attention of Authorities Sunday: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Two boats anchored too closely together in Magen’s Bay on St. Thomas drew the attention of authorities Sunday morning who said the people and boats did not follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

The people in the water, owners of the two boats involved, were given warnings and asked to separate after the incident occurred early Sunday morning, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“This is not acceptable behavior in our waters,” the VIPD said. “Please follow the rules, and practice social distancing. The rules also apply to boats.”

The Virgin Islands government said Department of Planning and Natural Resource (DPNR) marine patrol, the VIPD and the Virgin Islands Department of Health are on the lookout for people who violate recommended social distancing guidelines, whether they are on land or at sea.

Meanwhile, a Cowpet Bay man said he wasn’t so lucky with a health inspector. Charlie Knape, who lives aboard the Classy Lady, said a Virgin Islands Department of Health inspector gave him a $1,000 ticket for not wearing a face mask 20 minutes after he bought a pizza at sea.

A string of about 20 yachts anchored too closely together in Magen’s Bay occurred in the second week of October, according to social media reports.

“This occurred in Magen’s Bay yesterday and was addressed,” the VIPD concluded on Twitter.

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V.I. Entities Off The WAPA Grid Must Register For The Net Energy Billing Program: VIEO

CHRISTIANSTED — The Virgin Islands Energy Office (VIEO) in partnership with V.I. Water and Power Authority (WAPA) and the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) said it has worked “diligently” to create a sustainable renewable energy industry within the territory.

The closing of the Net Energy Metering (NEM) program in June of 2017 resulted in a void in sustainable renewable energy policy within the territory over the last three years.

In June of 2020, that void in sustainable policy was filled with the roll-out of the Net Energy Billing (NEB) program. The NEB program was developed
through a collaborative inter-agency working group, that sought to bring a sustainable and quantitative interconnection process to the Virgin Islands.

Through the development cycle the Working Group identified that the advances in distributed energy technology and the ambiguity in interconnection policy created an environment in which installations have
persisted without the required permitting or approval framework.

The implementation of the Net Energy Billing program addresses the interconnection approval void by enabling a multi-step assessment process and implementing an adjusted excess generation rate structure.

In addition, Title 29 Chapter 5 of the Virgin Islands Code specifies the obligation of DPNR to require and enforce permitting of distributed energy systems coupled structurally and/or electrically to a dwelling.

The Net Energy Billing program was officially implemented through PSC approval on June 15th 2020. Furthermore, the program applies to all future grid-connected distributed generation installations as well as all Non-Net Metering existing grid-connected installations.

Specifically, all grid-connected systems that were installed following the June 2017 closure of the NEM program, and were not grandfathered into the NEM program, must be registered within the Net Energy Billing Program.

The technology eligibility applies to Grid-Tied Solar/Wind systems and Grid-Tied Solar/Wind plus Storage Systems. Additionally, Self-Consumption and/or Zero-Export system configurations are Not exempt from NEB
program registration.

Fully Off-Grid systems, IE complete physical & electrical isolation from the WAPA meter and Grid infrastructure are exempt from the NEB program, however under Title 29 Chapter 5 of the Virgin Islands Code these installations will still require DPNR permitting.

“This joint communication serves to remind unregistered distributed energy stakeholders that the Net Energy Billing program is Not a voluntary program,” Kyle Fleming, director of the VI Energy Office, said. “We expect all currently installed, non-Net Meter, and future gridconnected distributed energy installations to be registered within the program. The online permitting portal strives to expedite and streamline the permitting process of installers and community stakeholders seeking to register distributed energy installations throughout the territory.”

The VIEO is in the process of scheduling in office walk-throughs of the online permitting portal, and the VIEO invite installers, electricians, and property owners to call 340-713-8436 to schedule an appointment on St.
Croix and St. Thomas.

As a point of emphasis, VIWAPA line crews and meter services in partnership with DPNR inspection teams will be tasked with surveying and identifying unregistered DG installations throughout the Virgin Islands.

Systems found Out-of-Compliance will be issued a Warning Sticker via DPNR. An application must be submitted within two weeks following issuance of warning from DPNR.

After two weeks, if an application has not been submitted, and willful negligence has been identified, fines will be assessed to the property owner.
“We are hoping to avoid additional enforcement measures in this matter, but we must ensure compliance territory-wide,” Fleming said.

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DPNR Begins Accepting Vessel and Mooring Registrations for 2019-20

CHRISTIANSTED — Commissioner nominee Jean-Pierre Oriol of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources said that the Division of Environmental Enforcement (DEE) will immediately begin vessel and mooring registrations for the 2019-2020 year.

Oriol said all permitted mooring holders must include in their applications to the Division of Environmental Protection the GPS coordinates of their mooring in “decimal degrees” format of the Geographic Coordinate System 1984 (e.g. 17.74891, -64.705368) for proper processing of their application for the 2019-2020 registration year.  

For new mooring applicants, you will be required to provide the GPS coordinate to DEE within 30 days of the installation of your mooring.

Boaters are asked to walk with the most current registration cards to expedite the process.  Boaters are also reminded that registration after June 30th will be considered late and may be subject to a late fee.

Mail in registration will also be accepted for both districts. 

St. Thomas                                                                                     St. Croix

DPNR attn Jessica Magras                                                        DPNR attn Howard Forbes

4607 Tutu Park Mall                                                                 6003 Anna’s Hope

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas 00802                                  Christiansted, VI 00802

For more information contact Howard A. Forbes, Sr., Director at (340) 773-5774 on St. Croix or Jessica A.M. Parris, Asst. Director at (340) 774-3320 ext. 5125 on St. Thomas.

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DPNR To Hold Meetings About Recreational Fishing On St. Thomas and St. Croix

CHRISTIANSTED — The Department of Planning and Natural Resources said that the Division of Fish and Wildlife will be holding meetings about recreational fishing throughout the territory.

On St. Thomas, the meeting will be held on Thursday, May 9th at 7 p.m. at the V.I. Housing Finance Authority training room in Frenchtown.

On St. Croix, the meeting will be held on Thursday, May 16th at 7 p.m. at the Division of Fish and Wildlife Mars Hill office in Frederiksted.

“The purpose of these meetings is to discuss recreational fishing licenses, annual catch limits, electronic reporting, logbooks and more,” DPNR Commissioner nominee Jean-Pierre Oriol said. “The meetings are also an opportunity to discuss why and how your data is used to keep our fishery healthy and sustainable.”

All are welcome: charters, private anglers, shoreline fishers, divers, and spearfishers.

Please call the Division of Fish and Wildlife with any questions in St. Thomas 340-775-6762 or St. Croix 340-773-1082.

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DPNR To Host Series Of Workshops For Small Business Owners

CHRISTIANSTED — Commissioner nominee Jean-Pierre Oriol of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources said that the Division of Environmental Protection will be celebrating Virgin Islands Small Business Week from May 6 to 10.

This week-long celebration begins with two workshops to educate all small business industry owners and managers on compliance and of their environmental responsibilities.

The St. Thomas/ St. John workshop will be held on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the VI Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Training Facility located at Nisky Center, 2nd floor, Suite 720 on St. Thomas. The workshops’ topic will be: How does the Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) assist you? The workshop will provide information on the free and confidential services of the program, compliance assistance and understanding environmental regulations implemented in the Clean Air Act Amendment of 1990.

The St. Croix workshop will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2017 at the Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, #1 Golden Grove (located directly across from Spicy Grill). The workshop will provide the Air Condition & Refrigeration industry with information on Compliance and Best Management Practices, Federal and Local Environmental Regulations 40 CFR Part 82 Subpart F Section 608 and 609.

Both workshops are from 10:30 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. and are FREE.  A variety of other seminars will be presented during the week geared towards potential and existing business owners.

These weeklong workshops will culminate in an awards ceremony to be held on Friday, May 10, 2019, at the University of the Virgin Islands Albert Sheen Campus, North West Wing Rooms 102 and 103 on St. Croix at 10:00 am. to 12:00pm.  

This years’ Environmental Stewardship Award Winners are:

St. Croix –        J.D.’s Appliances Repair, owner Johnson Daniel   

St. Thomas-    Central Air, Inc., owner Clement Vanterpool

St. John –         Villa Cool, LLC, owner Ernest Baptiste

These workshops are sponsored by the Small Business Environmental Assistance Program, DPNR-DEP in collaboration with the VI Small Business Development Center, and the University of the Virgin Islands.

For more information on the Small Business Environmental Assistance Program workshops contact Jasmine Blyden, Territorial Program Coordinator at (340) 774-3320 on St. Thomas.

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DPNR Closes Down Mars Hills Offices Today Due To WAPA Potable Water Issue

FREDERIKSTED — DPNR Commissioner nominee Jean-Pierre Oriol said his Planning and Natural Resources Department closed all offices at its Mars Hill location on St. Croix at 12:00 p.m. today due to no potable water in the building.

DPNR contacted the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) and has been notified that water service would not resume until later in the afternoon, Oriol said.

DPNR said it “apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their understanding.”

Normal office hours will resume on Tuesday, February 26th at 8 a.m.