Governor Bryan Declares State of Emergency in Response to St. Croix Water Quality Compromise

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – On October 30, 2023, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. signed an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in the District of St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands in response to the presence of elevated levels of contaminants in the water distribution system on the island.

The Executive Order that Governor Bryan issued designates the Commissioners of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR), Justa “Tita” Encarnacion and Jean-Pierre Oriol, respectively, as the Co-Incident Commanders to direct the territorial response and execute the directives for enforcement of the order.

This Order also designates DOH and DPNR as the co-lead agencies to coordinate emergency response activities in conjunction with the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) and the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA). The Co-Incident Commanders and Director of VITEMA shall advise the Office of the Governor on the implementation of the emergency response activities.

In addition to the agencies identified above, many other agencies and federal partners are working with the Incident Command team to ensure that all the needs of St. Croix residents are met.

Two such departments are the Department of Licensing & Consumer Affairs (DLCA) which has issued a price freeze for bottled water and other water products and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which continues to work closely with DPNR and WAPA to assess, identify, sample, monitor, and review all sites where contaminants may be present and determine what repairs are necessary so that the water quality compromise may be ameliorated as quickly as possible.

Copies of all Executive Orders are posted at

The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the Territory’s people, infrastructure and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit