"St. Croix’s Limetree Bay Refinery Could Be Facing Bankruptcy"

"The recently reopened Caribbean oil refinery hasn’t made loan payments in over a year, investors are backing out and residents are envisioning an economy without it."

"When the long-mothballed Limetree Bay oil refinery reopened in February, environmentalists saw it as a parting gift from the Trump administration to the deeply divided people of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some thought the massive facility would help revive the island’s economy while others feared environmental disaster and a looming climate nightmare.

The Environmental Protection Agency discovered as far back as 1982 that the Caribbean refinery was leaking tens of millions of gallons of oil into St. Croix’s groundwater. And in 2011, regulators required the plant to make hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrades and slapped it with environmental penalties for violating the Clean Air Act—moves that inevitably pushed its owner to close the facility for good in 2012.

But after reopening earlier this year under new ownership, thanks to what activists and analysts considered highly favorable regulatory consideration from Trump officials, the refinery has been plagued by environmental scandals, including two incidents where an oil mist was sprayed onto nearby homes and into residents’ drinking water."

Kristoffer Tigue reports for Inside Climate News June 12, 2021.

Source: Inside Climate News, 06/14/2021