"Redhook stinks to high heaven!"  

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Alana33
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From friend on St Thomas who lives near Red Hook:

Redhook stinks to high heaven!
Major disgusting septic leakage somewhere. You can smell it from going up to my Cabrita road leaving the National Park Dock Road in going out towards the Ritz you start smelling it there, and you smell it all the way to the ferry dock. Does anyone know anything about this?

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East Ender
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I don't know if it is something different from the stench of the past few months. I thought it was the turdster by the park road. I mean the waste treatment plant...;-)

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AandA2VI
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Ar you talking about right by the school? Thats been going on for MONTHS and its SOOOOOO effing digesting! I can NOT believe they are allowing that stench thats clearly raw sewage to be right next to the school!!! Entering red hook you have to hold your breath. I don't have kids but if I did I would pull them out instantly. Its getting worse now too. Last week I could barely stand to drive through. Maybe its from the school?

Who would one contact to complain about this? Mayeb start a petition online for signatures to get that fixed. I can only imagine if the smell is that strong that there raw sewage sitting out somewhere. No way that can be a port potty or something. Maybe 1000 port potties but lawd its B.A.D.

Super embarrassing too as I have to go right through there with my tourists.

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East Ender
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I am not sure how you get rid of sewage, since it is a sewage treatment plant. I guess you could see if there is a phone number on the fence. It is between Fish and Wildlife and the park road.

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Alana33
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I would "imagine" that in a real world, VIWMA, DPNR, Public Works and/or EPA would be the responsible entities to investigate and resolve these issues as well as levy fines to whomever for whatever is causing this stench. The useless EPA guy in STX passed the buck to the stateside EPA, 'when notified instead of getting his butt in gear and on the phone and calling the above mentioned VI government entities and getting the ball rolling. "Not my job,Mon."

Red Hook will have a sweet Thanksgiving!
Oh! Since we have holidays coming up, it could take awhile to resolve this. I just heard about it today.
Had no idea it was not a "New" problem!
Boiling pitchforks to whomever is responsible.

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AandA2VI
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I reported it to the EPA. I suggest everyone do the same.

http://www2.epa.gov/home/report-spills-and-environmental-violations

I think it should be considered an emergency - especially right next to the school?!
http://www.ehow.com/info_8372308_effects-breathing-raw-sewage.html

Unbelievable. I lived near a water treatment plant in AZ once and it NEVER smelled like this.

Also last year it wasn't smelly. It's just been maybe the last 6-7 months. Something is wrong.

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AandA2VI
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Also
340 774 9000 health department
340 774 3320 stt I think it's dpnr

Those are the two numbers I got when calling the EPA above.

I know a few business owners there and will give them the info also. May also start a petition online tomorrow and will post the link.

The treatment plant has to figure out a way to make sure we're not breathing humans shit.

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Alana33
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You could also speak with Sandra @ Blade and Key right across from the school. I think Red Hook has a community alliance and she probably will know how to contact them and maybe get them involved as well. I think if everyone makes a "stink" (pun intended)
about the stink, maybe something will get done sooner than later.
I rarely go to Red Hook so have no first hand knowledge of where the smell is nor how strong but seems if it's been ongoing it's time to get someone's butt in gear to rectify the situation.

Squeaky wheel, etc.

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ms411
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If it's been going on for longer than a day and none of the Red Hook businesses or residents have complained about it, let them live with it. I drove through there yesterday and had to hold my breath. I didn't smell it, though, when I was on the patio at Lattes in Paradise.

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Alana33
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Just another item like roadside trash to add to the list of attractions for our tourist guests to impress them with their choice of a vacation destination.

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MissJustice
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Governor Dejongh is responsible for the sewage through two agencies: DPNR and DPW.
Call the governor's office at 774-0001 and ask him to do something about that smell. Good luck.

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ChrisMI
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I've smelled it there since late summer, every time I drive around that corner, like 2x a week. Maybe the smell doesn't reach Kean high school, so that why no one there has complained? It's not the ideal 'welcome to the east end' greeting 😉

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Alana33
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Governor Dejongh is responsible for the sewage through two agencies: DPNR and DPW.
Call the governor's office at 774-0001 and ask him to do something about that smell. Good luck.

I'll be sure to call Gov. Darth Vader first thing Monday morning.

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Islander
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It has been going on for a couple months, and seems to get worse after heavy rain.The area around the road to the National Park dock (close to Red Hook), is somewhat of a wetland environment. So, how about a possible alternate source for the smell: decay of organic material in a water logged environment due to increased rainfall in recent months?

"Why do swamps sometimes smell like rotten eggs?...all wetlands are oxygen-deprived environments where microscopic anaerobic bacteria break down organic matter and—in the process—produce hydrogen sulfide: the source of the stink."

"Anaerobic decomposition takes place in nature, as in the decomposition of the organic muds at the bottom of marshes and in buried organic materials to which oxygen does not have access. Intensive reduction of organic matter by putrefaction is usually accompanied by disagreeable odors of hydrogen sulfide and reduced organic compounds which contain sulfur, such as mercaptans (any sulfur-containing organic compound)."

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Scubadoo
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Could be a matter of personal perception? I'm no expert but I believe a properly functioning sewage treatment plant is not supposed to smell overwhelmingly disgusting but it's not going to smell like a perfume factory either. As Islander posted natural anaerobic decomposition can and often does smell the same a raw sewage. Just pick up a rock in a shallow creek and smell it from the mud underneath sometimes. But certainly not a good thing to have for tourists right next to the ferry dock whether natural or not.

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Alana33
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I am just surprised that if it's been going on for months, there hasn't been any type of announcement as to the cause or if there are any plans in the works for addressing the problem.

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ms411
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Talked to Fish&Wildlife. They have complained to Public Works and Waste Management with no results.

She asked that we call 774-3320 to complain. Hopefully we can get results.

Thank You!

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Alana33
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I called this morning and was told the smell was from seaweed in the mangoves.

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ms411
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DPNR said sewage leak which is why I was referred to EPA. I left a message on Environmental Protection agent. Will call back later to see if I can get live person.

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Islander
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Ms411 - is there an official statement from DPNR stating that the department has determined the smell is related to a sewage leak? Or was it an individual, working at DPNR, that suggested that was the source?

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ms411
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Then let EPA know DPNR says sewage leakage. I think that's what I said when I called EPA.

Will call EPA after I finish cooking my corn chowder.

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Islander
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Contacted DPNR's media relations person, Mr. Nielsen, asking "whether DPNR had investigated the smell". Here is his response.

"Thank you for your concern and your questions. Yes DPNR has investigated the foul odor in the Red Hook area of St. Thomas. The Division of Environmental Protection conducted formal inspections on Sep 3 and 10th of this year at the Vessup Lagoon Treatment Plant and found no upsets at the plant. DPNR made contact with VIWMA last week regarding the odor and was made aware of the Authority's plans to dye test their lines for potential leaks. While sargassum seaweed was thought to be a contributing factor to the odors in the area late August and September, there isn't evidence of large amounts now. The department will continue to work with VIWMA to investigate the cause of this foul odor. Any further questions feel free to contact me."

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AandA2VI
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I called that second number I posted earlier that I got from EPA. She sounded genuinely concerned. I mentioned it's next to the school and the kids. She is sending our someone to that area today. I hopefully will get a call back.

I'm going to try to get out there today and look and take pictures amongst the mangroves for sargassum. I honestly don't think it's that. Rotting sargassum has more of a earthy stink. I also noticed yesterday on tour it's MUCH MUCH more spread out. Usually just smelled it at the school and now you can smell it a quarter mile back coming from secret harbor.

I've got the support of STT restaurant group as well now. I plan on starting an online petition today and will repost. Let's make a stink about the stink and get something done!

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Alana33
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EPA needs to collect water column and sediment samples if that's DPNR's story regarding the seaweed. There could be dumping of septage / sludge there so close to the treatment plant (haulers) or there could be leaks from the plant itself. VIWMA is pretty useless, followed pretty closely by DPNR when it comes to efficiency and performance or lack, thereof.

Good for you Adrian! Another activist in the making ;-)!

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ChrisMI
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I saw it got some coverage in the Daily News today, that certainly can't hurt. The first sentence of the article reads: "Red Hook Stinks". Ow.

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