The government of the British Virgin Islands plans to have scrubbers installed at its Pockwood Pond dump on Tortola, said Planning Commissioner Alicia Barnes said.
Speaking in a meeting Tuesday of the Inter Virgin Islands Council, Barnes talked about the BVI dump and other issues.
“The units did not come equipped with scrubbers,” she said.
Residents of St. John's Coral Bay have complained for years about smoke blowing across the water from Pockwood Pond dump. The latest incident was earlier in October when smoke blanketed the area for several days. Photos taken Oct. 12 seem to indicate the dump was on fire.
Barnes said it appeared to be an issue with spontaneous combustion.
“They have to have appropriate venting,” she said.
According to Barnes, the State Department gave the territorial government permission to “have direct communication” with the BVI government concerning the smoke issue.
“It’s a public nuisance,” Barnes said of the smoke.
Additionally, Barnes said the BVI government agreed to notify the USVI government when the dump has a problem. She said her office will then let the public know.
Barnes said she had no problem with the public telling her office when the smoke is impacting Coral Bay.
BVI Premier Dr. Orlando Smith acknowledged that the dump had been a problem for years.
“It’s being addressed,” he said.
Barnes also said the Attorney General’s office is reviewing results of an investigation into what Coral Bay boaters viewed as heavy-handed actions by DPNR enforcement officers in late July.
She announced the internal investigation July 27 after boaters said the officers cut mooring lines, put violation stickers on boats they believed weren’t registered, demanded pedestrians show their identification, and waved guns around.
Barnes said another meeting will be held in Coral Bay to discuss the matter with the boaters.
Barnes said the officers are still on the job.
“I’m not making any further comment until the report is issued,” she said.