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VIWMA Dumping Sewage Report are Non-Compliant

Dear Mr. Modesto and Mr. Font:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act I have previously requested, of the EPA:

“all wastewater discharges in the USVI since January 1, 2010,
including when the discharges commenced, when they stopped,
and the quantities involved.”

As you know, Part II of the TPDES Permit Section B General Conditions 18. Availability of Information states that this information shall be made available to the public without further notice. Mr. Casey agreed that this is public information and provided me with the attached Non-Compliance Reports, which themselves are unfortunately woefully incomplete. Some reports simply say “Ongoing” in regard to bypasses during a period of days or weeks when VIWMA has been actively pumping millions of gallons of raw sewage into our coastal waters.  There are no stop dates or quantities listed.  I am attaching a summary of these discharges, as reported in the Non-Compliance Reports.  Please inform me as to the name and title of the people at DPNR and the EPA who have the responsibility of reviewing these documents for compliance with the mandates of federal law, court orders and the TPDES permits.

There were newspaper articles and press releases printed in the VI Newspapers which also indicate further bypasses, for which there are not any Non-Compliance Reports at all.  One example of this is the bypass which occurred on St. Croix April 24-May 3, 2010, as reflected in the attached article.

Therefore, the information requested has not been fully furnished to me. I understand that you would be the people who would have the specific information requested, including where the bypass occurred and why, start dates, stop dates, and the quantity of flow.  Would you please provide this previously requested information, in full, immediately, or as soon as possible, as I will be filing documents with the Federal District Court, this week, and I am endeavoring to be as accurate as possible with the data supplied to the Court. I appreciate your supplying this information, because the court would want it to be supplied now that it is considering the current condition of the wastewater systems, and whether VIWMA has been compliant with previous court orders. Perhaps your counsel has already requested this information.

In addition, please specify the name and title of the people responsible for confirming that every time there is a bypass exceeding 8 hours, that public notice is given according to the TPDES Permit and the Federal Court Order. I understand that DPNR oversees VIWMA, but who at DPNR and who at the EPA are in charge of reviewing this compliance or lack thereof? Were you aware that VIWMA (and DPNR) have not been following this court order and important condition of the TPDES Permit?

Finally, will there be any communication from the EPA to the Triathletes, or from the EPA to the Health Department concerning the triathletes, who will soon be swimming in the affected waters? From a legal perspective, since the EPA is the regulatory agency, it is responsible to the people of the Virgin Islands for allowing VIWMA to continue pumping raw sewage over long reef. I believe it is the EPA’s obligation, at the very least, to give the Department of Health all the facts concerning the bypasses. Please let me know if you intend to do so. Thank you, in advance,  for your prompt reply. Sincerely, Susan K. Wolterbeek

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