Minister: ‘BELCO Must Take Immediate Action’

August 11, 2020 | 8 Comments

“The lack of urgency expressed by the company is alarming,” Minister Jason Hayward said, adding that “BELCO must take immediate action in order to mitigate the conditions currently faced by surrounding residents.”

Minister Hayward — who is the MP for Pembroke Central –  said, “Over the last two weeks, I have attended three separate community meetings organized by residents who have concerns regarding their health and safety and the pollution emanating from BELCO’s power station.

“The lack of urgency expressed by the company is alarming. BELCO must take immediate action in order to mitigate the conditions currently faced by surrounding residents. The individuals who have been directly affected by the pollution from the smokestacks should be compensated expeditiously.

“People in the surrounding neighbourhoods have expressed their concern for many months and by all accounts, BELCO’s lack of action to rectify the problem has been most alarming. This weekend two mothers of infant children expressed fear and are considering leaving their neighbourhoods because they are concerned with the potential health risks on their children.

“There is more at stake here than a compromised ‘aesthetic’.Property has been damaged, health is being possibly compromised and there is overall discomfort as a result of the emissions. Residents have expressed a variety of health problems which they believe are related to the fumes, which should not be ignored.

“After hearing the concerns of the residents, the following is the minimum action that can be taken to mitigate the issues they are currently facing:

  • Admittance that the new plant and stack is a major part of the problem;
  • An independent assessment of their drinking water and air quality;
  • The company to pay for water filters ;
  • Adequate outreach from BELCO;
  • Property restoration [car, homes, roofs, outside future] paid for by BELCO; and
  • Revised policy regarding assistance to neighbourhoods affected that fall outside of their cut-off area.

“The company needs to make changes to its operations that will benefit their neighbours. This is a problem that can have long- term health implications for people in our community and it is the responsibility of the company to ensure the safety of all stakeholders, workers, and surrounding residents included.”

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Comments (8)

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  1. Toejam Express says:

    It’s clear that BELCO isn’t getting the message. Every person being affected by the smoke stack pollution fall out should join together, instruct an Attorney, and then sue BELCO. Hit BELCO’s bottom line and they will quickly get the message!!

  2. sandgrownan says:

    “Admittance that the new plant and stack is a major part of the problem”

    Oooh, the Minister is overstepping his remit, knowledge and qualifications here. He cannot demand an outcome he feels is appropriate.

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Property has been damaged, health is being possibly compromised and there is overall discomfort as a result of the emissions. Residents have expressed a variety of health problems which they believe are related to the fumes, which should not be ignored.”

    Ok, so we have “possibly compromised” and “problems which they believe are related to the fumes”, but no proof that Belco is doing anything wrong or is actually harming anyone.

    So, Minister, what urgent action must Belco take and why is it urgent in the absence of any evidence that anyone is being in any way harmed?

  4. Support them being sold says:

    so they will have resources to move into renewable energy and then this won’t be a problem.

  5. Carlita Burgess says:

    My daughter lives on Twin Lane and she has four children twins that are only 9 months old and I am VERY concerned. She is astmatic and has mentioned that she is felling the effects of the Belco plant.

    I pray that this situation is sorted as no ine should be made to vacate their homes becauae od negligence and non carish attitudes.

  6. Kathy says:

    Thank you, Minister Hayward, for speaking on behalf of the people. This nonsense MUST stop.

    If the Government of Bermuda were to put an immediate cost on air, marine and human health damage from CO2 emissions, as they do in other parts of the world, raising our energy bills much higher, it sure would make solar look VERY VERY ATTRACTIVE to the average Bermudian.

    We need to arrive at this point IMMEDIATELY without further delays. BELCO has no interest in maintaining our pristine environment nor do they have any interest in the current toll on human health their business has been permitted to get away with for too many years!

  7. Joe Bloggs says:

    “On June 20th, an isolated incident occurred that resulted in soot being dispersed in the Berkeley Hill neighbourhood adjacent to the North Power Station. The soot accumulated during the commissioning process. The issue has been addressed to avoid reoccurrence as we continue to run the plant at full load.” https://bernews.com/2020/08/ed-belco-fully-compliant-clean-air-act/#comment-5362232

    Umm, that does not align with what Minister Hayward is saying. Minister Hayward says

    “BELCO must take immediate action in order to mitigate the conditions currently faced by surrounding residents. The individuals who have been directly affected by the pollution from the smokestacks should be compensated expeditiously.”

    So which is it? An isolated incident as Belco says or a continuing situation as the Minister says? Some evidence one way or the other would be nice.

  8. Imjustsaying says:

    I grew up in that neighborhood and that soot problem has been evident for 60 years or more. When I lived on St John’s road I would clean my car and the next day I could write my name on the hood there was so much soot. My question is has the BIO Station done an analysis in that area with their equipment like they did on East Broadway. Probably not. And if BELCO are not using Scrubbers I wanna know why.

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