Limetree Bay refinery is testing cisterns in Clifton Hill after oil was sprayed over the St. Croix neighborhood near the facility.

According to a press release from the refinery, “an upset in the refinery at Flare Unit #8 ... resulted in a release of steam and oil which traveled northwest. The release occurred while Operations was quenching one of the coke drums.”

The statement went on to say that “initial investigations did not reveal any impact beyond the refinery’s fence line. Once Limetree was made aware that there was impact to the community, our environmental teams were immediately dispatched to neighboring areas to assess that impact.”

“While the release did not present a health hazard to the public, Limetree determined that oil droplets were present on some vehicles and roofs in the area, and implemented a plan to clean those roofs and vehicles,” Limetree wrote.

According to the refinery, employees “began cleaning cars immediately” and inspected “cars, roofs and properties, and assisting in disconnecting cisterns from roofs.”

Sample of cistern water are being tested for oil and grease by an EPA-certified lab in Florida, Limetree said.

The company is providing drinking water to affected residents, “which was delivered to their door. Limetree also went door-to-door to all the residents in Clifton Hill and responded to all the complaints received. An area of impact was delineated on a map, and the plan for cisterns is to empty, clean and refill with potable water all cisterns whose lab results show a detection. Residents whose lab results show non-detect will have their cisterns topped off with potable water,” according to the statement.

The company said it notified “all applicable regulatory agencies,” and “Limetree continues to work with both local and federal agency partners to ensure the continued safety of its personnel, the public and environment.”

- Contact Suzanne Carlson at 340-714-9122 or email