Feb. 28, 2003 – The Federal Aviation Administration rejected the local government's request to extend the deadline for closing the Anguilla Landfill until the end of 2003 but agreed to monitor the territory's compliance with a timeline and schedule submitted in December for shutting it down.
"Despite the rejection of the request for the extension," Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood said on Friday in a release, "the FAA has expressed their satisfaction of the progress being made by Public Works toward the eventual closure of the Anguilla landfill."
More than two years ago, the FAA gave the territory a deadline of Dec. 31, 2002, for closing the landfill down.
Last June, the government chose Landfill Technologies Corp., a waste-management company in Puerto Rico, to build a bale-and-wrap facility at the Anguilla site, which is owned by the Port Authority but operated by the Public Works Department. The bale-and-wrap processing of solid waste at the landfill is to be an interim procedure until the territory has a new permanent waste-disposal system in place for St. Croix.
Landfill Technologies does not expect to begin operations until late this year.
Federal law dictates that no landfill shall be located within 10,000 feet of an airport because of dangers to aircraft posed by foraging birds and dogs. A $9.3 million FAA grant for improvements to and expansion of Henry E. Rohlsen Airport hinged on the closing of the dump.
VIPA's former executive director, Gordon Finch, has said the FAA could require the government to repay that grant as a possible sanction for failing to comply with the order. Or, he said, the FAA could decertify the airport.
But rather than taking either of those measures, the FAA recommended the initiation of an informal resolution process, Callwood said.
According to the proposed schedule, he said, the landfill should stop receiving raw waste in mid-November. The baling facility is expected to be in operation then, and only baled waste will be going to Anguilla, he said.
The schedule submitted by Landfill Technologies at the Dec. 19 meeting with FAA officials dealt with finalizing the contract and then constructing the baling facility, implementing baling operations and carrying out remediation work at the site.
Public Works will submit regular progress reports to the FAA, Callwood said.
The V.I. government has estimated the cost of the interim waste-disposal plan at $10 million to $15 million for start-up work and an additional $5 million per year for operations.
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.