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We rely on donations from readers like you to keep going. Croix Environmental Association. Newsletters We deliver climate news to your inbox like nobody else. Hovensa, a t venture between Hess Corporation and Petroleos de Venezuela, reported no injuries in the explosion. But since efforts to reopen the plant began inSt. Croix has already seen a much-needed influx of cash. The contract remains in effect until Several officials who voted against approving the Limetree contract in as Virgin Island senators, including Lt.

Virgin Islands Gov. It does that by ensuring new permits require the most up-to-date pollution control equipment.

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InSt. For decades, government officials have known that polluting facilities, like oil refineries, are far more likely to exist in poor minority communities than affluent white ones. I agree to the terms of service and privacy policy. Get Inside Clean Energy. Valiulis, of the St. Oil-slicked water spilled from the refinery into an open containment pond and discharged into a nearby harbor—though a containment barrier and cleanup efforts prevented oil from reaching the sea, the company said in a press release.

A fuel line at the St. Croix oil refinery, operated by the company Hovensa at the time, had caught fire and exploded. Posted by Hovensa L. Keep Environmental Journalism Alive ICN provides award-winning, localized climate coverage free of charge and advertising.

The potential threat is only underscored by climate change, which is making extreme weather more frequent and severe. Get a daily of our original, groundbreaking stories written by our national network of award-winning reporters.

Learn More. Only a few years ago, historic hurricanes swept through St. How long until another one hits, Valiulis thought, and what about containing waste water then? Now more than a month since digging it all up, Rivera is back in her garden planting lettuce, greens and okra. Those limits remain in place even though Limetree is only proposing to refine less than half as much oil, at aroundbarrels per day.

In Septemberthe U. What if another spill happens and goes unnoticed for years—for decades? A copy of the contract, obtained by Inside Climate News, shows that Limetree Bay is exempt from at least 15 different taxes and fees, many of which are commonly used by governments to pay for things like repairing ro and investing in public infrastructure.

The rule also aims to ensure that companies share some of the financial burden of monitoring and curbing air pollution, Goffman and McCabe wrote. Ever since the refinery contaminated St. As a consolation, besides offering to clean their cisterns, Limetree provided packages of bottled water to those affected. We deliver climate news to your inbox like nobody else.

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Credit: Michael Butler. Inside Climate News uses cookies. But many are now arguing over what role—if any—the refinery should play in rebuilding it. Get Breaking News. In early February, their paradise became a nightmare. The refinery brought in hundreds of temporary construction workers and technicians to get the plant back up and running, and the facility itself will employ up to permanent workers, Limetree has said. The only foods they buy from the store, she said, are sugar and flour.

Environmentalists say trump’s epa bent rules to speed its restart. now, they want president biden to address what they call a textbook case of environmental injustice.

The hurricanes destroyed homes, schools and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to St. Croix Environmental Association, referring to portable bathrooms. But the event added a further stain to a growing laundry list of high-profile accidents and violations at the facility in the years leading up to its closure.

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President Biden has made fighting climate change a top priority and pledged to elevate environmental justice to the top of his regulatory agenda to reverse decades of health disparities in minority neighborhoods. Address.

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By continuing to use this site, you accept this policy. But perhaps the most notable incident happened decades prior to the explosion, said Gerard, who was born in St. Croix and personally remembers many of the mishaps. The new permit issued by the Trump EPA, he said, grandfathered in old emissions caps at the refinery rather than adopting stricter ones required under the New Source Review rule. Rivera remembers the anger she felt when workers showed up at her door with a case for her. For locals, like Frandelle Gerard, a St. Croix business leader and the executive director of the Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism Foundation, the moment represents a chance for the new administration to back up its rhetoric.

ICN provides award-winning climate coverage free of charge and advertising.

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The facility had been emitting too much nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds—or VOCs—and benzene, all of which can contribute to ificant environmental and human health harm, such as increased risk of lung disease and cancer, the agency said.

But the options are running out. By Kristoffer Tigue.

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And by the following year, nearly one out of every five people living in the territory were out of work. Get ICN Weekly. Every day or once a week, our original stories and digest of the web's top headlines deliver the full story, for free. Then, in JanuaryHovensa announced it was shutting down production at the plant for good, citing a global oil glut and stiff competition.

This time, she and her husband have raised the beds off the ground to make it easier to recoup their losses should things go wrong again.

During february’s freeze in texas, refineries and petrochemical plants released almost 4 million pounds of extra pollutants

This hurricane season is expected to be another record year. Warmer air Vermont croix usvi dating more water, and more potential for destruction, scientists have long warned. The refinery site is home to one of the biggest, and least known, oil spills in U.

Its owners faced a multi-million dollar settlement for violating the Clean Air Act. Locals, like Rivera, worry what it will mean for them, and their tropical island, to once again live in the shadow of an oil refinery that has fouled St. Several green groups, including the St. Nearly 75 percent of the people living in the communities just north of the refinery are Black, almost 30 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino and over a quarter fall below the national poverty line, according to a recent EPA analysis. For years, Sonya Rivera and her husband have lived off the land, growing tomatoes, cucumbers, kale and other vegetables at their idyllic home in St.

Croix, part of the U. Virgin Islands located just east of Puerto Rico and roughly a thousand miles from the shores of Florida. Those funds are particularly needed when considering the two back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes—Irma and Maria—that devastated the Virgin Islands in September ICN provides award-winning, localized climate coverage free of charge and advertising. And a study last year found that the most powerful storms are increasingly forming within striking distance of states in the Southeast and Caribbean islands like St.

The company has no plan to measure or mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions and makes no mention of its role in contributing to global warming in any of the documents it filed with regulators.