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Alana33
(@alana33)
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Yes. Pretty shameful.

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Posted : June 7, 2021 8:01 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
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https://stthomassource.com/content/2021/06/10/limetree-hit-with-fourth-class-action-lawsuit/

“This case is very interesting because of the impact it has had on the island’s ecosystem,” attorney Hugh Lambert said. “Here you have a refinery, Hovensa, that contaminated the aquifer and maneuvered to go bankrupt to avoid responsibility, which was then recreated by a hedge fund with relaxed environmental scrutiny by the prior administration’s EPA. They started up the facility without doing the minimal work that was essential for a refinery shuttered nine-plus years, and now the downwind community is suffering the consequences.”

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Posted : June 10, 2021 7:30 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
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vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
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Posted by: @alana33

https://stthomassource.com/content/2021/06/17/survey-seeks-residents-input-on-recent-limetree-emissions/

I did the survey but it was just a "have you been affected and how" questionnaire.

I wondered what the real purpose of it was.

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Posted : June 18, 2021 3:53 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I wondered what the purpose of people's homes, cistens, lands, health, the STX aquifer that spoiled soil water and health was worth? 

Why not take a a survey?

 

 

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Posted : June 18, 2021 9:06 pm
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

Just took the survey, not sure why a small liberal arts college in Vermont is doing it but I guess that’s not important given it only seeks people’s opinions as to the impact of the refinery.  Those with a bias for the refinery will answer one way and those with a bias against will answer the other way.  Ultimately the survey will be used to support some narrative as in most politics facts are rarely important.

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Posted : June 20, 2021 10:14 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert
Posted by: @jaldeborgh

Ultimately the survey will be used to support some narrative as in most politics facts are rarely important.

Exactly.

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Posted : June 21, 2021 8:07 am
rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member

Limetree suspending refinery operations indefinitely but will maintain storage operations:

https://viconsortium.com/vi-business/virgin-islands-limetree-bay-suspends-indefinitely-plans-to-restart-refinery-due-to-financial-constraints

Now the question will be: Will they figure this out and restart it safely or will the refinery turn into a Superfund site?

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Posted : June 21, 2021 9:46 am
daveb722 liked
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

@rewired 

 

Why would it be considered a superfund site? There are no wastes stored on the site. The terminal will remain in operation. 

 

 

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Posted : June 21, 2021 11:26 am
janeinstx liked
rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member

@cruzaniron 

You are correct, it wouldn't quality.

I stand corrected.

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Posted : June 21, 2021 12:05 pm
daveb722 liked
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

I think the only way to qualify for superfund status would be if the owners went bankrupt.  If the facility is not maintained or decommissioned correctly at some point I suspect it will become an expensive enviromental hazard. 

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Posted : June 22, 2021 3:27 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

Bankruptcy would not absolve environmental responsibility for Limetree refinery owners - including paying for EPA superfund cleanup if the site were to qualify. Nor is bankruptcy a prerequisite for qualification.

Superfund Compliance and Penalties | Enforcement | US EPA

Recovering Costs from Parties in Bankruptcy | Enforcement | US EPA

EIG has deep pockets that are filled by institutional investors. From its website:

"EIG’s clients include many of the leading pension plans, insurance companies, endowments, foundations and sovereign wealth funds in the U.S., Asia and Europe. EIG is headquartered in Washington, DC ..."

It seems the choice to pay for Hess's past sins is either us (tax payers) or us (investors).

But we know all of those guys in pinstripe suits have taken their big chunks of cash already and moved on. 

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Posted : June 22, 2021 9:35 am
janeinstx
(@janeinstx)
Trusted Member

@gators_mom

From the operating agreement dated 7/2/18 "(3} Refinery Operator will assume no liability for the remediation of any environmental contamination that occurred prior to the Closing Date."

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Posted : June 22, 2021 10:04 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

Has additional environmental damage or contamination occurred post 7/2/18? 

Superfund is not just about ground contamination.

That contract language looks like something to talk about in court. LOL

Either way, US taxpayers or small investors ultimately will pay. Not necessarily VI tax payers.

 

 

 

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Posted : June 22, 2021 10:50 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
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janeinstx
(@janeinstx)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @gators_mom

Has additional environmental damage or contamination occurred post 7/2/18? 

Not to my knowledge

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Posted : June 23, 2021 9:48 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @janeinstx
Posted by: @gators_mom

Has additional environmental damage or contamination occurred post 7/2/18? 

Not to my knowledge

Not even the oil spray on homes and yards in Clifton Hill and surrounding area? Did that oil spray affect open land around the refinery, too? 

That's tangible.  

It's harder to talk about air emissions and air pollution when the refinery isn't operating. And before the required EPA air testing equipment was installed. 

I do take issue with the Bennington survey since it's opinion driven and the sample was not scientifically selected and randomized.  The Source piece may include facts but it is opinion driven - not quite journalism. 

I wonder if the refinery would have opened if DJT et al had not given the greenlight to expedite the permitting process?  Seems to me it was a debacle ready to happen from the beginning. Nonetheless, lots of money to consultants, contractors, and corporate leaders - leaving the financial losses to be sorted out by US tax payers and institutional investors. 

The VI is stuck with a poorly planned and executed failed refinery startup - and its physical relic sitting on the south shore.

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Posted : June 23, 2021 10:21 am
Alana33 liked
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

@gators_mom 

I wouldn't assume its a done deal that its closing for good yet.

Once the financial issues are dealt with, I expect it will be back in business.

The heavy lifting as already been done.

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Posted : June 23, 2021 11:11 am
TN_Travelers
(@tn-travelers)
Advanced Member

I doubt that it will reopen.

There is already interest in reopening the refineries on Aruba, Curacao and Trinidad - none of which would be under EPA control.  Together they can match the capacity of Limetree.

BP needs to get the crude from the Guyana oil field refined and although St Croix was 1st choice - there are other options that will be more attractive now.

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Posted : June 24, 2021 8:49 am
NorthsideKevin
(@northsidekevin)
Advanced Member

Oh, I would surmise someone wants the refinery open and operating.  Anything for a buck, no matter who it hurts.  Pay agencies to look the other way and crank her up.  

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/business/energy-environment/suriname-oil-discovery.html

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Posted : July 2, 2021 3:07 pm
stcmike
(@stcmike)
Advanced Member

What are the basic qualifications to be eligible to be a superfund site and doesnt it take many many years for the process is completed.  I see many abandoned factories on the mainland and I am sure they are environmental danger zones

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Posted : July 2, 2021 6:56 pm
rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member

@stcmike 

Here's a link to the EPA's Superfund page : https://www.epa.gov/superfund/what-superfund  

It has some information on their process and how a site gets on the list. 

Technically, any site that meets a threshold level of contamination can go on the list, but very few are actively funded for cleanup by the government. From what I can tell, they first try to identify the responsible party/parties and get consent orders for cleanup. If the responsible party/parties can't be identified or no longer exist (bankrupt or dissolved companies), the site may quality for federal cleanup. Sites that quality for federal cleanup are prioritized based on the level of pollution and some sites (although on the list) may never rise to a high enough spot to get funded...

 

 

 

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Posted : July 3, 2021 1:05 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert
Posted by: @stcmike

What are the basic qualifications to be eligible to be a superfund site and doesnt it take many many years for the process is completed.  I see many abandoned factories on the mainland and I am sure they are environmental danger zones

OH, you mean like the Harvey/Martin Marietta/Vialco site on STX that has basically been abandoned for over 20 years? Everyone is so concerned about Limetree but completely ignore the other site. 

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCOURTS-vid-1_05-cv-00062/pdf/USCOURTS-vid-1_05-cv-00062-3.pdf

 

 

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Posted : July 6, 2021 7:34 am
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member
Posted by: @northsidekevin

Oh, I would surmise someone wants the refinery open and operating. 

If you put gas in your car, buy goods to feed, cloth and protect your family you need refineries.  Is it okay for them (refineries) to exist as long as it’s not in our neighborhood?  We’re all in this together, I for one would rather be in control of the standards rather than assume someone else has higher standards or is more environmentally sensitive than I am.  If we use petroleum products, directly or indirectly, we are the problem, it’s therefore our responsibility to manage it correctly.  Simply calling corporations greedy and evil doesn’t help without a better solution.  Petroleum is one of the largest industries on earth, it touches every aspect of our lives and is fundamental to life as we know it.  We must recognize we are all stakeholders in Limetree, we need to use that power to make sure things are done to a high standard.  As I see it, as good citizens, we only have one option, go forward responsibly and with high standards.  There is a win-win here if we work together. 

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Posted : July 7, 2021 3:54 am
rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member

@cruzaniron 

St Croix Aluminum (formerly the names you listed) is one of 72 Virgin Islands sites listed as a Non-Priority List Superfund site.

https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0206465

You can see all of the sites (including the one owned by the VI government) by going here and selecting the Virgin Islands from the drop down list.

https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/srchsites.cfm

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Posted : July 7, 2021 7:51 pm
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