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St. Croix Public Water System Faces Fine for Drinking Water Violations

Release Date: 04/08/2004
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(#04048 ) New York, N.Y. -- The Villa La Reine Shopping Center in St. Croix faces fines for failing to monitor its water supply for total coliform bacteria. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a complaint against the center under the Total Coliform Rule of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), because the system failed at times to monitor for total coliform bacteria on a monthly basis and failed to notify the public of violations found when it did monitor, despite being previously ordered by EPA to do so. EPA is seeking $25,000 for the violations.

"Drinking water safety cannot be taken for granted," said Jane M. Kenny, EPA Regional Administrator. "By monitoring to ensure that coliform bacteria does not enter the public water system, we can prevent people from getting sick."

Under the SDWA, EPA sets standards for drinking water quality and oversees the states, localities, and water suppliers that implement those standards. In addition, the Total Coliform Rule sets monitoring and compliance requirements for coliform bacteria. All systems must monitor for total coliform and systems that violate the total coliform maximum contaminant level (MCL) must let the public know.

The Villa La Reine Shopping Center failed to monitor its water supply for total coliform for the months of October 2002 and November 2002, violated the MCL for the months of February 2003 and March 2003, and failed to disclose this information to the public. Upon request by the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, EPA issued an order to the owners of Villa La Reine Shopping Center on October 20, 2003. The owners have failed to respond to EPA regarding the order, prompting EPA to issue this complaint to collect a penalty.