USVI Port Authority issues critical public alert
ST CROIX, USVI: The US Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) was notified by the VI Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) of a chemical spill at the VI Port Authority’s Container Port at Krause Lagoon, St Croix.
The Division’s Environmental Enforcement, Coastal Zone Management and Environmental Protection responded to the incident. Other First Responders on the scene were: VI Fire Department and VI National Guard HAZMAT Teams, VI Port Authority and the US Coast Guard.
According to the National Response Center’s Incident Report, an 8,000-pound container filled with Anhydrous Ammonia overturned while off-loading from a vessel docked at the port. The container’s valve broke and released the chemical into the water and atmosphere.
Anhydrous ammonia is a clear, colorless gas that has a very characteristic odor. It is extremely irritating and corrosive. Therefore, DPNR strongly advises the public to avoid fishing, swimming and boating in and around the VI Port Authority’s Container Port and Boat Ramp Areas until further notice.
Coming into contact with this chemical can be extremely dangerous, thus the Department of Planning and Natural Resources urges the public to adhere to this advisory. DPNR will monitor the impacted area and update the community accordingly. At press time no additional information was available.