FAA upset with Anguilla delay
Published: January 17, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - V.I. Port Authority board chairman Robert O'Connor Jr. said Wednesday that the V.I. Waste Management Authority has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for another extension to the Anguilla Landfill final closure deadline.
"It seems like it's surfacing again, and we really feel that we have to keep an eye as to what is taking place there in order that we don't deal with any problems with FAA in the future," O'Connor said, referring to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Port Authority legal counsel Don Mills said he met recently with FAA officials, and they were not happy about the new request - which was not made to them but to the U.S. Department of Justice and the EPA. The FAA is willing to consider the extension request and see whether it would affect the territory's funding, he said.
The FAA has withheld discretionary funding opportunities from the Port Authority for years because the landfill was still operating. The FAA says the close proximity of the landfill to Rohlsen Airport is dangerous because the landfill attracts birds that can interfere with aircraft.
Separately, the EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice have a consent decree with the territory to close the landfill because it has exceeded its life.
Mills told the board that he informed FAA officials the Port Authority - which is the landlord of the landfill property - would agree to an extension only if the FAA did.
Stella Saunders, spokeswoman for the Waste Management Authority, said Anguilla Landfill stopped accepting solid waste in June 2012 when the St. Croix transfer station began operations.
All garbage now comes to the transfer station, where it is bailed and wrapped and then taken to the landfill to be used as building blocks to shore up the sides of the landfill. It is part of the closure process that has been approved by the EPA and the court.
Saunders confirmed that Waste Management submitted a request to the EPA to extend the final deadline for capping the landfill to 2020.
The EPA has approved the request, and it currently is pending before the federal court, she said.
By September 2018, the landfill no longer will accept anything, including the bailed and wrapped garbage from the transfer station, Saunders said.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email email@example.com.