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USVI lawmakers pass bill to ban large scale burning

December 3rd, 2017 | Tags: ban burning debris Hurricanes Kenneth E. Mapp
Local environmental groups had lobbied intensively against the plan to burn, and some testified at the Senate on Wednesday November 29, 2017 about the adverse effects of the option. Photo: St John Tradewinds News
VI CONSORTIUM

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St Thomas, USVI— Lawmakers on Friday December 1, 2017 passed a bill that prohibits large-scale burning of vegetative debris in the US Virgin Islands (USVI), a move that goes against the Kenneth E. Mapp administration and federal government’s plan to incinerate the hundreds of thousands of debris left behind by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The bill, whose original intent was to prevent burning of debris as part of cleanup initiatives, was amendment by Senator Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly to include large-scale debris caused by disasters.

The measure places on hold Governor Mapp’s and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s plan to begin air-curtain incineration in the coming week.

Local environmental groups had lobbied intensively against the plan to burn, and some testified at the Senate on Wednesday November 29, 2017 about the adverse effects of the option. Their testimony and strong advocacy was enough to convince 10 lawmakers to approve the bill banning burning of debris.

And even if Mr Mapp were to veto the measure, it could still become law anyway, as a veto override requires two-thirds of the Senate — approximately 10 lawmakers.

“We are placing the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA on notice that this territory is a no-burning territory,” said Mrs Rivera-O’Reilly.

With burning of debris about to be banned, the debris would have to be chipped and piled in the territory’s landfills, a method, according to Senator Positive T. A. Nelson, that comes with its own risk of catching fire.

3 Responses to “USVI lawmakers pass bill to ban large scale burning”

  • cay (03/12/2017, 10:51) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    let them keep that over in the usvi...I burning my old stuff right now
  • rock city (03/12/2017, 21:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Burn baby burn lol
  • Gecko (05/12/2017, 10:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    If most of the debris is vegetative, then use a chipper to grind it up for mulch around trees to keep brush and weeds down. Why doesn't BVI have any chippers? It makes for better soil IF the debris is clean Vegetation-- not peppered with plastic as it probably would be.


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