Tutu Wellfield in USVI allocated funding for clean up by US EPA

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The Tutu Wellfield in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands is on the list of 100 sites in the United States that have been deemed to be contaminated and have received sizable support in terms of monetary backing to initiate a clean-up drive.

On Tuesday, the Unites States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a package worth more than US$1 billion, which will be utilized to clean manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills and mining sites, which have been deemed to be “superfund sites”.

The Tutu Wellfield is paced in the Anna’s Retreat portion of St Thomas and was used for textile manufacturing and industrial-scale dry cleaning between the years 1969-1978.

As a result, the area was contaminated with industrial waste, which includes spent dry-cleaning waste, drums and floor drain discharge released from the site and resulted in the contamination of groundwater with chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs), such as Trichloroethylene (TCE), Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and vinyl chloride.

A groundwater treatment facility was established by the EPA in 2004 to tackle the issue.
Governor Albert Bryan of the US Virgin Islands spoke of the matter in depth, stating the following, “Today marks a historic moment for the US Virgin Islands as we celebrate the inclusion of the Tutu Wellfield in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law championed by President Biden. This legislation is a beacon of hope, promising to breathe new life into our environmental restoration efforts.”

He added that, “I extend my deepest gratitude to President Biden and his administration, and all those who worked tirelessly to make this legislation a reality. Let us move forward with purpose, knowing that our actions today shape the legacy we leave behind. The US Virgin Islands is ready to lead the way toward a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future.”

Stacey Plaskett, who is a US Congressional Representative, gave her two cents on the issue as well, stating the following, “President Biden’s vision of making major investments to build resilience against climate change continues to come to fruition here in our territory with another award from the Inflation Reduction Act. The Tutu Wellfield in St. Thomas has long posed significant environmental hazards due to its industrial contamination, and I commend the EPA for identifying it for action.”

“We know that there are other sites like this one across our territory and it is my hope that this will be one of many EPA funding awards for much needed environmental remediation in the Virgin Islands.”

The Regional Administrator of the EPA, Lisa Garcia stated that, “While we have addressed much of the risk posed by Tutu Wellfields, this funding will help us complete the job by addressing more recently discovered contamination that is spreading slowly over time.”

“This investment in America and in the US Virgin Islands builds on the historic progress we have already made in recent years to ensure that communities living near the most serious uncontrolled, or abandoned contaminated sites get the protections they deserve.”

Understandable, this initiative is a significant undertaking and looks to improve the status of this contaminated region so that it can be repurposed to benefit the region.

Nia Roberts
Nia Robertshttp://writeups24.com/
Nia Roberts, journalist at Writeups24, brings academic rigour and storytelling together. Nia's work covers diverse topics and uncovers hidden truths, amplifying marginalized voices. She stands as a paragon of journalistic integrity and a champion for the underrepresented. To reach Nia Roberts, you can email contact@writeups24.com


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