The Limetree Bay refinery that rained oil on St. Croix neighborhoods will remain shut down “indefinitely,” its private equity owners said Monday. The EPA shut down the refinery in May for 60 days after it spewed oil onto nearby predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods twice since reponing in February. The noxious pollution sent residents to emergency rooms and locals worry their drinking water is now laced with the oil that fell from the sky. The Virgin Islands Good Food Coalition is conducting a survey of the refinery’s health and environmental impacts along with two Bennington College professors (one of whom is a former EPA official who monitored the plant).
VIGFC Executive Director Sommer Sibilly-Brown said she worried for those who will lose their jobs, as well as those harmed by the pollution. “We are a community of black and brown people who have been historically burdened by the effects of the refinery and left with the aging facility, undocumented health impacts, and no remediation to environmental impacts caused by refining,” she told the Washington Post.
“The data we’re getting is overwhelming,” Bennington professor David Bond, who is in St. Croix conducting outreach told the Post. People are describing “impacts that often felt invisible.” (Washington Post $, E&E $, AP, Reuters, CNN, S&P Global, The Hill, Virgin Islands Daily News)