vi environment



Officials Seek to Ease St. Croix's Water Crisis in 90 Days Following Biden’s Partial Federal State of Emergency Declaration

  • Nelcia Charlemagne
  • November 20, 2023

A request for a declaration of a federal state of emergency to handle the water crisis on St. Croix has been partially approved by President Joe Biden. That decision, explained Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) Director Daryl Jaschen, was predicated upon “the current assessment and degree of federal assistance requested.”  Mr. Jaschen, speaking at Monday’s Government House press briefing, said that for a full declaration to be made, “we have to demonstrate...that we are overwhelmed with our assets.” This is not the current reality in the USVI, with ample drinking water supply available locally. However, Mr. Jacschen confirmed that the situation is fluid. If supply chain hiccups affect the bottled water supply, “FEMA comes in for a short period of time [to] provide that assistance.” The partial declaration affords the USVI 90 days of support, and “must be focused on providing direct federal assistance, providing emergency protective measures, continuing t...