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Sat Mar 13, 2021, 11:48 PM

Far from the White House, St. Croix refinery to test Biden's promises on poverty and pollution

CHRISTIANSTED — Earlier this month, Loren Hughes, a longtime resident of St. Croix, noticed specks of an oily substance covering his home, as well as those owned by his neighbors.

For Hughes, 46, it brought back memories of the last time the south shore refinery was operating, roughly a decade earlier. The refinery restarted last month, bringing back hundreds of jobs — but for nearby residents, they say it also brought difficulty breathing, headaches and watery eyes.

“Sometimes it’s like sulfur or rotten eggs. The other smells are unexplainable,” Hughes said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants the refinery’s owners, Limetree Bay Ventures, to increase its monitoring of air quality due to emissions affecting the nearby neighborhoods, but the owners have so far balked.

St. Croix is a long way from the U.S. mainland. But the battle over how the refinery’s pollution is affecting residents and tourists is one of the first tests of how the Biden administration will prioritize environmental justice.

Read more: https://vifreepress.com/2021/03/far-from-the-white-house-st-croix-refinery-to-test-bidens-promises-on-poverty-and-pollution/

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