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Residents call for action Belco ‘debris’

  • North Power Plant, Belco (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Pembroke residents have called for action over pollution from Belco’s newest generator.

Doris Wade, who lives near the plant, said that while the company has offered to clean water tanks and roofs, a long-term plan was needed.

She said: “Like quite a few people, we have seen debris on our roof and in every part of our yard, the trash cans and everything.

“It’s a grave concern because, while we could see that, what don’t we see that goes on to the roof.”

Ms Wade added that the launch of the new plant this year had only made the situation worse.

She said: “You come out of the house sometimes in the morning and you actually smell the oil burning. It’s disturbing because you know exactly where it’s coming from.

“Who is in charge of thinking about the health issues that come from this?

“Belco has been in existence longer than myself, so they have had more than enough time to come up with a plan for clean energy so it’s not hurting anyone’s health.”

A government minister has raised the alarm about complaints of pollution from Belco.

Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour and MP for Pembroke Central, said he was concerned about increased emissions “spewing” from the power plant, which had left oily deposits on houses and cars in the surrounding area.

Mr Hayward said: “Residents have made it clear that they are unhappy and would like the matter to be rectified immediately.

“I have personally examined black soot and liquid rust-like residue on roofs, cars and other property.

“Residents have genuine health and safety concerns.

“During my canvassing of the community, residents have complained that they are prevented from opening their windows as a result of the fumes which consume their neighbourhood.”

Mr Hayward said residents near the power plant in Serpentine Road, Pembroke, were concerned about the possibility their tank water could be contaminated and that large cracks had been found in some properties from vibrations, blamed on the plant.

He added: “I have implored Belco to meet the residents and rectify this issue as a matter of urgency.”

Mr Hayward said: “As one should understand, residents have concerns about their general health and wellbeing; some have complained about constant migraines that have persisted since the new power station came online.

“The residents of Pembroke Central, namely St John’s Road and the Mount Hill area, feel as though they are under siege.

“The community demands answers from Belco — area residents were promised a cleaner facility, but it has turned out be the contrary, a major health hazard.”

Mr Hayward added that he had spoken to Dennis Pimentel, the Belco president, who accepted that there had been problems with the new power station.

Anyone affected should contact the company’s occupational health, safety and environment team at ohse@belco.bm or by phone at 299-2802.