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Environmental Health Team to Assess Local Situations

Aug. 24, 2004 – A team of federal and community experts will be assessing the health of residents who live and/or work near identified environmental hazards.
On Friday the team will be on St. Thomas visiting with persons who spend much of their time in the vicinity of the Bovoni landfill. On Saturday, the group will be on St. Croix meeting with those situated in the area of the island's heavy industry zone.
The experts are conducting the assessment at the request of Delegate Donna M. Christensen. "We have held a series of meetings with these communities over the years," she noted, adding that she has asked the environmental justice and environmental health officials "to come and update their initial assessments and to help the communities develop a long-range plan to address problems."
The team consists of Dr. Reuben Warren, associate director of environmental justice at the National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry; Dr. Stephanie Mills, an environmental toxicologist; Dr. Marian Burnett, public health specialist and internist; and Dr. Mildred McCain, director of Citizens for Environmental Justice.
According to a release issued by Christensen's office on Tuesday, a meeting with the Bovoni Homeowners Association is scheduled at 10 a.m. Friday at Bovoni Baptist Church, with residents of Tutu "section 148" invited to take part. After the meeting the team will tour the Bovoni landfill.
And from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, there will be a meeting at the Central High School library with residents of Harvey, Clifton Hill and other areas near "the industrial activity on the southeastern part of the island," the release stated.
"The team will listen to residents and their particular issues," Christensen said, then "evaluate what has happened, what residents want, what requests can be addressed" by the two federal agencies represented. A focus of the meetings will be on "where the agencies can influence or partner and decide on a plan of action and timetable to address concerns," she said.

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