March 2, 2004 – Thanks to a cooperative venture between two St. Croix firms, Hovensa and V.I. Regulated Waste Management, the island soon will have a recycling facility for used motor oil and hydraulic oil from local businesses.
Regulated Waste Management has a permit from the Planning and Natural Resources Department to collect and transport used oil. And Hovensa has a permit from the department to receive and burn used oil as fuel in boilers used to produce steam at the refinery, according to a Hovensa release issued on Tuesday.
The refinery "will accept the used oil from Regulated Waste Management provided the oil satisfies Hovensa's specifications for the maximum content of contaminate permitted," the release stated.
Alex A. Moorhead, Hovensa vice president for government affairs and community relations, noted that the refinery for several years has been accepting used oil collected by the Public Works Department from "do-it-yourselfers" on St. Croix. But since there was no regulatory control agreement in place for Hovensa to accept used oil from businesses such as automotive service and repair shops, he said, such commercial oil had to be shipped off island for disposal.
Now, commercial generators whose used oil meets Hovensa's specifications "will have the more cost-effective option of having their used oil reused as fuel at the refinery," the release stated.
"Businesses will benefit by no longer having to store a large number of drums of used oil on their premises where the drums pose a fire hazard and the environmental risk of oil leaking into the ground and seeping into to the water table," Moorhead said. "Regulated Waste Management will benefit by being able to provide an economical used-oil disposal option to businesses."
And, he added, "Hovensa and ultimately the U.S. economy will also benefit by increasing the volume of used oil that is the source of energy at the refinery, thereby reducing, although by a relatively small amount, the volume of imported oil required to operate the refinery."
The agree-upon procedure calls for RWM to collect and store used commercial oil until it has about 5,000 gallons in a holding tank. Then a sample will be drawn for analysis by an independent laboratory — which Hovensa will pay for — and the tank will be sealed. The testing will determine whether the oil meets DPNR and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for fuel blending and whether it might contain any substance "which would cause hazardous air emissions or damage the refinery's equipment when the oil is burned," the release said.
If the sample passes the tests, RWM will transport the sealed tank to Hovensa, where the oil will be transferred to a refinery storage tank for later use.
Hovensa accepted its first such shipment of oil on Feb. 25, Moorhead said.
Businesses wanting more information about the used-oil disposal service can contact Regulated Waste Management at 773-9121.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.