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What’s in a picture?

A picture taken by a reader of The Royal Gazette showing smoke emitting from the stacks at Belco (Photograph supplied)

It’s an amazing shot, starry skies, the bright lights of Hamilton and a lone cloud, apparently right above the Belco stacks.

It was taken last week by Christina Hutchings who said: “The cloud caught my eye because it was the only cloud in the clear and still night sky.”

We asked if Belco knew what the cause of the cloud was - the firm issued a statement but did not address why the cloud could have materialised.

A spokesman said: “Belco is sensitive to the impact of operations on neighbours and the wider community.

“Belco management has heard their concerns and have made operational changes to the plant engines to optimise their performance. In addition, the company decommissioned eight engines in 2020 which has improved plant emissions.

“Belco also maintains three ambient air monitoring stations in Pembroke that monitor the air quality in close proximity to the plant. These monitoring stations show that emissions are below the limits mandated by the Clean Air Act which regulates Belco’s power generation plant.”

Numerous residents and stakeholders including representatives from the pressure group Bermuda Clean Air Coalition have in recent months raised serious concerns about the pollution from Belco’s smoke stacks.

However, last week, a report showed that water quality tests on tanks near Belco found trace levels of pollution – but at levels well within international standards for drinking water.

Wayne Caines, Belco president, added: “Belco is committed to Bermuda and especially to the residents in the neighbouring area.

“We are aware of concerns about stack exhaust and soot emissions and water quality that have been raised since the commissioning of the North Power Station. We are constantly monitoring and testing our impact on Bermuda and area residents; we are also working to mitigate that impact.”

Anyone with concerns can reach out to Belco’s Occupational Health, Safety and Environment team by e-mailing ohse@belco.bm

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Published March 30, 2021 at 8:02 am (Updated March 30, 2021 at 8:23 am)

What’s in a picture?

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