In accordance with 44 CFR §9.8 for Executive Orders 11988 & 11990
Proposed Wind Resiliency Retrofit
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Notification is hereby given to the public of the intent of the Department of Homeland Security- Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS-FEMA) to provide federal funding to the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, St. Thomas, USVI, as subrecipient for the proposed retrofitting of a USDA-monitored slaughterhouse, food storage and animal testing facility through the Pre- Disaster Mitigation Competitive (PDMC) Grant Program. The purpose of the PDMC Grant Program is to reduce overall risk to the population and structures from future hazard events, while also reducing reliance on federal funding in future disasters. This notification is given in accordance with Executive Order (EO) 11988 (Floodplain Management), Executive Order (EO) 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), Federal Coastal Zone Management Act, and 44 CFR Part 9, regulations for implementing EO 11988-11990.
The proposed mitigation project is for the St. Thomas Abattoir (slaughterhouse) located at Estate Nadir, Bovoni Road, St. Thomas, USVI 00802 (18.32012, -64.87805). The scope of work includes the installation of wind-rated louvered windows, wind-rated entry doors, and roof straps as well as the strapping and anchoring of exterior electrical and mechanical equipment. Also included in the scope of work is an analysis of the building’s continuous load path (CLP) with additional hardening measures to follow as needed to improve the structure’s wind load capacity.
This action would take place within the 100-year floodplain. Alternatives considered include: 1) taking no action 2) relocating the structure, or 3) the proposed alternative, which is hardening at its current location. FEMA has determined that hardening the structure at its current location is the most practicable alternative to ensure the facility and its occupants are out of harm’s way. FEMA has also determined that investment of funds to reduce the risk of structural failure in the face of an extreme wind event is in the public interest. Potential impacts to water quality or aquatic habitat are anticipated to be temporary during construction and minimized through best management practices and conservation measures incorporated from resource agency recommendations and required regulatory permits.
Comments about this project, potential alternatives, and floodplain impacts may be submitted in writing within 15 days of the date of this publication to: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency – Region II – Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation, Mitigation Division, One World Trade Center, Suite 53, New York, NY 10007 or via email to FEMAR2COMMENT@fema.dhs.gov. If substantive comments are received, FEMA will evaluate and address the comments as part of the environmental documentation for this project.
July 10, 2020, US Virgin Islands – The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (VIDA) is inviting livestock farmers to attend a meeting on Friday, July 17th, 2020 from to 6 to 7 p.m. at the St. Croix Abattoir located at #1 Estate Lower Love. The purpose of the meeting is to inform farmers about new procedures at the abattoir including compliance with USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) standards, scheduling & operational procedures, humane animal transport, farmer’s form completion, payment for services, and processed meat pickup procedures. VIDA’s Veterinary Services division will also provide an update on livestock services and support available to farmers.
To mitigate COVID-19 concern, social distancing will be instituted, and all attendees are required to wear face masks.
VIDA’s Division of Abattoir Services is a red meat production establishment that receives cattle, sheep, goats and pigs for slaughtering. These carcasses as well as by-products are processed for general public consumption and sold to retail and wholesale outlets, in compliance with USDA FSIS guidelines. Carcasses are shipped by refrigerated truck or insulated container as appropriate.
Of note, the St. Thomas Abattoir is also finalizing its facility repair and will undergo a separate review of USDA FSIS compliance analysis and an update to documentation immediately upon the opening of the St. Croix Abattoir, to expedite reopening.
We here at VIDA would like to thank the public for their patience while we made the necessary repair and updates to better serve our community and increase our local food security.
For more information on the July 17th, Abattoir Facility Use Meeting contact VIDA on St. Croix at (340) 778-0997 or visit our website at http://doa.vi.gov.
UPDATED August 25, 2020, US Virgin Islands – The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (VIDA) invites community members to a discussion regarding the regulations for livestock owners in the Territory on June 30, 2020 at 5:30 pm. This virtual meeting was held via Zoom.
This meeting is the first step in educating farmers on pertinent livestock regulations and enforcing with law. VIDA will be working with farmers and community members to follow best practices for raising healthy animals and producing a safe and wholesome food product. We will specifically cover the following subsections in preparation for enforcement:
- Proper feeding and care:
- Owners are responsible for providing the proper feed, shelter, water, and veterinary care for their animals at all times.
- Stray animals:
- “(1) that animals straying on public highways and other places private or public, constitute a danger to the public health, safety and convenience, are destructive of property, increase traffic hazards and expose such animals to inhumane suffering.”
- Identification and registration of animals:
- “(a)No person shall own, keep or harbor any donkey, horse, mule, sheep, cattle, hog, or goat, two months old or older, unless such animal is branded, tagged, [micro-chipped,] or tattooed …”
- “(a) Any animal found running at large, or tied on public property, or on private property without the consent of the owner of the property, shall be taken up by animal wardens …”