It is troubling to hear representatives of Beal Aerospace continue to say they must build their rocket factory at Great Pond Bay because they must have a protected harbor. This was disputed by several testifiers at the Senate hearing on July 23 where the Camp Arawak land exchange was discussed.
Gordon Finch, executive director of the V.I. Port Authority, said that the need for protected waters was never brought up by Beal as an issue during negotiations for lease of the Port Authority's land at Betty's Hope. In fact, Mr. Finch went so far as to say that, in his opinion, Beals claim they must have protected waters was a "smoke screen, big time."
Several testifiers, myself included, pointed out the fact that Beal plans to ship the same rockets on the same barges from St. Croix to Sombrero Island off Anguilla. Sombrero is essentially a rock jutting out of the ocean, with NO PROTECTED HARBORS OR BAYS, which is awash during storms.
According to Beals own website, Sombrero is frequently inundated during the winter months by large waves called "northern rollers." So how is it Beal can barge the rockets to the unprotected waters of Sombrero where barges would be moored stern-to at the dock and lowboy trailers towed directly off the barge, but they cannot ship the rockets from St. Croix's industrial area where there is already a container port and molasses pier where numerous ships and barges come and go safely on a daily basis?
Don't let the smoke get in your eyes.
St. Croix Environmental Association