OBA: Govt Needs To ‘Get A Grip’ On Issues

August 11, 2022 | 6 Comments

[Updated] “The Government needs to get a grip on these serious issues,” Shadow Minister for Home Affairs & Legal Affairs Scott Pearman said in regards to the ongoing concerns with BELCO.

Mr Pearman said, “The conclusion by Bermuda’s Regulatory Authority [RA] that BELCO has been actively misleading the public about the newly built North Power Station is extremely concerning for the whole of our Island community, and not merely those living in the vicinity of the Station.

“The simple fact is that issues with BELCO affect all of us. BELCO has a near-monopoly on Bermuda’s energy provision. This monopoly will continue until energy alternatives mature.

“For Bermuda’s independent energy Regulator to formally caution BELCO – as the RA did earlier this week – is virtually unprecedented, at least at this level in the energy space.

“Sadly, issues with BELCO are not new. Resident groups and the Bermuda Clean Air Coalition have been critical of smoke, soot, noise, and other emissions from BELCO escaping into surrounding neighbourhoods for years. When meeting with one resident group, a BELCO neighbour shared with me the accompanying photo showing orange soot on his roof.

Photo provided by OBA

Belco Roof Bermuda August 2022

“Would you tolerate this debris on your roof? And where is the Government on all of this?

“The Burt Administration has been near silent when it comes to issues with BELCO. When the Minister for the Environment released a press statement last month, the PLP Government assured the public that: ‘tank drinking water from the soot-affected roofs met the drinking water standards and the WHO guidelines’. Take another look at that picture. Would you drink tank water from that roof? Would you want to wash in that?

“Now the Minister seeks to wash his hands of the matter, saying it is an issue for the RA. Yet it is the Government that is responsible for our environmental health.

“To add insult to injury, the PLP Government has also terminated Bermuda’s decades-long air-quality testing project, involving the world-renowned Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences [BIOS] – apparently citing the $230,000 cost as prohibitive.

“Perhaps BELCO might like to fund the BIOS Project to give our community greater comfort about our air-quality? Even better, why not expand the project to install BIOS-monitored air quality testing in the neighbourhoods surrounding BELCO?

“The Government needs to get a grip on these serious issues. We need leaders who believe Government is about more than just getting re-elected. We need principled leadership and action to solve our Island’s problems.”

Update 7.21pm: Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban said, “I can advise that the Government, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, continue to be heavily involved with the Environmental Authority and BELCO to address the environmental issues impacting neighbours. The work is ongoing, and the public will be advised as soon as possible of the next steps.”

“To suggest that the Government has no interest in the impact of BELCO’s power plant emissions from their north Tower is an absolute falsehood. My only reference to the RA was in support of their recent public statement cautioning BELCO about information relating to and using Liquefied Natural Gas.”

“The issue of the choice of generation for the island is a matter that falls under the remit of the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda [RA] and is a matter for the RA to address. However, it had no bearing on the numerous justifiable complaints concerning the unacceptable situation area residents and businesses face from BELCO’s emissions.”

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The simple fact is that issues with BELCO affect all of us. BELCO has a near-monopoly on Bermuda’s energy provision. This monopoly will continue until energy alternatives mature.”

    Very true, but the simple fact is that the PLP Government allowed Ascendant to be sold to foreigners. Between that and the PLP Government giving over regulatory power to the RA, there is not much the PLP Government can do, as you should know.

  2. unknown800k says:

    whos the area MP?? oh nevermind, hes above the law

  3. trufth says:

    In what universe is this allowed to go on for weeks, let alone years?? This is mind boggling? It is beyond unacceptable and action for those effected should have taken place years ago. This is absolute horse shyt!

    This is not ok. At all. Action NOW!

  4. Guy Carri says:

    Spent +$150M on a new fossil fuel/LNG stack and want to be carbon neutral in a few years. LMAO! Lying to us all. NOTHING done to date to get them there. Waiting on JV’s and homeowners to get them there.

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