Press Releases

Top House Democrats urge President Trump to extend the federal cost share for debris removal in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Washington, March 13, 2018
Washington, D.C. –Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (USVI), released the following statement regarding a recent letter sent to President Donald J. Trump urging him to extend the Federal cost share for debris removal and emergency protective measures for the U.S. Virgin Islands as a result of the damage after Hurricanes Irma and Maria:

“Today, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him to extend the Federal cost share for debris removal and emergency protective measures for the U.S. Virgin Islands as a result of the damage after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. I want to thank the Ranking Members for sending this important letter to the President.

“The debris build-up on the U.S. Virgin Islands left by Hurricanes Irma and Maria has reached devastating heights. Roughly 870,726 cubic yards of storm debris, 5,950 bags of medical waste, 69 pounds of refrigerant, 1,525 propane tanks, 14,464 batteries and other waste products have been collected.

“This vast amount of debris has greatly exacerbated waste disposal issues. In fact, two landfills on the Islands were at or near capacity and, according to a Consent Decree between USVI and the Environmental Protection Agency, were scheduled for permanent closure before the hurricanes. An extension of the cost share is warranted as certain debris must be moved off-Island and this entire process has been outside of the USVI’s control. The Territory should not have to pay a cost share because the Federal government did not complete its job in a timely manner.”