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Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Tue December 10, 2019 3:22 AM
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The Nature Conservancy Aims to Regenerate Coral Reefs

The Nature Conservancy is building a seawater nursery to conduct assisted coral fertilization and coral reef conservation work according to Ashlee Lillis, TNC’s Virgin Islands Coral Manager for the Caribbean Division.
Sen. Novelle Francis (D-STX) presides over Tuesday’s Senate session. (Photo by Barry Leerdam for the V.I. Legislature)

Senators OK Medicaid Windfall Bill, Toxic Sunscreen Ban

The 33rd Legislature approved a host of bills Tuesday when it convened in session, including the Medicaid windfall bill, which directs some $39.5 million to pay the hospitals’ Water and Power Authority bill, and a measure that would ban the sale of sunscreens containing coral-killing chemicals.
Cosmetic chemist Autumn Blum testifies Monday before the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Consumers and Affairs, describing the toxic chemicals found in most sunscreens. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, USVI Legislature)

Ban on Toxic Sunscreen Moves Forward

The Committee on Rules and Judiciary unanimously approved the ban of toxic chemicals found in most sunscreens on Thursday, moving bill 33-0043 forward to the full Senate. If it is enacted before January 2021 it will make the V.I. the first state or territory in the U.S. to have legislation against the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate.
Cosmetic chemist Autumn Blum testifies Monday before the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Consumers and Affairs, describing the toxic chemicals found in most sunscreens. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, USVI Legislature)

Senate Panel Votes to Ban Sunscreens with Toxic Chemicals

A Senate committee voted Monday to forward a bill banning two chemicals found in many sunscreens after a panel of witnesses, including chemists and divers, testified that the compounds contribute to the deterioration of coral reefs and have been linked to harmful side effects in humans.

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