Home News Local news TAX HELP SOUGHT FOR SOLID WASTE FACILITY

TAX HELP SOUGHT FOR SOLID WASTE FACILITY

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Delegate to Congress Donna Christian Christensen has introduced a bill in Congress to provide an incentive for companies to pay for and build a solid waste facility in the territory.
The bill would give a tax credit to any taxpayer in a U.S. territory who builds a facility as the result of a procurement request from the territory’s government. In the case of the Virgin Islands, the proposed bill is an effort to attract companies to construct and operate what will be, at $100 million-plus, the territory’s most costly capital project ever.
"We have a crisis occurring in the U.S. Virgin Islands because of the current state of our waste management system which is threatening the health of our residents, as well as the environment," Christensen said, "I discussed this problem with the late Commissioner Harry Thompson and Deputy Commissioner Sonya Nelthropp and they both agreed at the time that it is crucial that the federal government assist us through a federal-territorial partnership in order to solve this problem."
Public Works has already started the process to pick a contractor to construct, finance, design and operate its solid waste facilities. The likely method for disposing of the 110,000 to 150,000 tons of garbage produced each year in the territory will be a process called gasification. And to avoid barging garbage between islands to a single facility, gasification units will be built on both St. Thomas and St. Croix.
Gasification is the preferred alternative for disposing of solid waste because of the islands' limited space for landfilling and the outcry against incinerating garbage.
According to Public Works officials, eight companies submitted responses over the summer to the department's request for proposals for the solid waste management facilities. That number has been cut to four, with two having the strongest proposals.
While gasification units could take three years to construct, the Federal Aviation Administration has threatened to turn millions of dollars of V.I. Port Authority grants into loans if the Anguilla Landfill on St. Croix is not closed by December 2002.

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