Press Releases

Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett announces federal government will assume 100-percent cost share for debris removal in U.S. Virgin Islands

“The Territory should not have to pay a cost share because the Federal government did not complete its job in a timely manner,” stated Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett

Washington, March 16, 2018
Washington, D.C. –Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (USVI), released the following statement regarding the announcement today that the federal government will assume 100%of the 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, President Trump announced that the federal government would assume 100% of 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.

“The debris build-up on the U.S. Virgin Islands left by Hurricanes Irma and Maria has reached devastating heights. Under a mission assignment from FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been in charge of the timetable for collecting and removing debris. Over the past 4½ months, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local contractors have collected more than 736,000 cubic yards of debris — the equivalent of 61,000 truckloads. As the mountains of wreckage continue to grow, crowding landfills and littering roadsides, we now know that the federal government will cover 100% of the cost to rid us of the debris tarnishing the islands’ famous Caribbean landscapes.

“This vast amount of debris has greatly exacerbated waste disposal issues. In fact, two landfills on the Islands were at or near capacity and, under a Consent Decree between USVI and the Environmental Protection Agency, were scheduled for permanent closure before the hurricanes. An extension of the cost share was warranted as certain debris must be moved off-Island and this entire process has been outside of the USVI’s control. I am happy to announce that the Territory will not have to pay a cost share to remove the remaining debris.”