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Lawyer ‘disappointed’ with health minister’s response

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Mark Pettingill, director of Chancery Legal (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The health minister is stalling instead of taking action against Belco pollution, a lawyer has said.

Mark Pettingill, the director of Chancery Legal representing affected residents, was reacting to a letter from Kim Wilson he received last week saying her ministry is conducting a “thorough investigation” into emissions from the plant.

Ms Wilson provided the same response to The Royal Gazette on February 27, adding that the investigation was prompted by residents’ complaints. Residents have been complaining of soot and other emissions since the North Power Station was commissioned in April 2020.

Clearing the air

Mr Pettingill said: “This is candidly a disappointing response and has been said before. All of the information and evidence for an investigation is already clearly known. The environment minister [Walter Roban] knows he must have the information. That’s why he called it ‘abhorrent’.

“Minister [Jason] Hayward, the area MP, knows. He’s made speeches about it. One assumes it’s discussed in Cabinet and caucus.

“In any event, my clients will ensure the minister has all the news reports, photographs, videos, statements and physical evidence needed for a quick conclusion that the nuisance exists.

“She is also welcome to make a visit to the area in any given day and breath the air for herself. Establishing a nuisance is quite a simple test.”

Mr Pettingill initially wrote to Ms Wilson on Wednesday on behalf of the Bermuda Clean Air Coalition, a pressure group, and individual residents asking her to use her powers under the Public Health Act 1949 to rule soot and other emissions from the plant a statutory nuisance and have them abated.

He gave her seven days to notify him of her intended action and said that he will consider applying for a judicial review if action is not taken.

Ms Wilson has been approached for a response to Mr Pettingill’s latest comments.

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published March 13, 2023 at 8:03 am (Updated March 13, 2023 at 8:03 am)

Lawyer ‘disappointed’ with health minister’s response

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