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Emergency Declaration for the U.S. Virgin Islands after Reports of Elevated Lead Levels in the Water Supply

Zimmetry Environmental provides lead and other water testing services to identify toxic heavy metals and a wide range of additional contaminants to protect the public and support water management programs.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico – WEBWIRE

The emergency declaration covers 90 days and provides for additional water testing and safe drinking water sources for residents of St. Croix.

Last month, the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands formally requested an emergency declaration from President Joe Biden. The action followed the Governor’s declaration of a local state of emergency on Oct. 30, 2023, in response to hazardous levels of lead and copper detected in the water supply of St. Croix.

In response, President Biden declared that an emergency does indeed exist in the territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands and ordered Federal assistance to supplement the territory’s response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from the water supply contamination concerns. The action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures to save lives and to protect property, public health and safety.

Lead is a toxic heavy metal. Even at low levels, it can cause a range of health effects that could include behavioral problems and learning disabilities, high blood pressure, kidney problems and other concerns. Although everyone is at risk of exposure to lead, children six years old and under are considered most at risk because this is when their brain is developing rapidly.

“The emergency declaration covers 90 days and provides for additional water testing and safe drinking water sources for residents of St. Croix,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Nationwide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 20 percent or more of human exposure to lead may come from lead in drinking water. Even if water leaves a treatment plant without elevated lead levels, lead can leach from old water service lines and plumbing fixtures.”

Based out of Puerto Rico, the professionals at Zimmetry Environmental are regularly called upon to support companies, institutions and utilities from across the Caribbean with water contaminant testing, monitoring and consulting services. These expert resources not only protect the public, they also help to keep businesses and water utilities in regulatory compliance.

To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their environmental, health and safety services, please visit, call (787) 995.0005 or email .

About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals, and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs, and general environmental consulting services.

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 Lead Poisoning
 Water Testing
 Puerto Rico
 Industrial Hygiene

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