Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO) today confirmed that there had been a recent fallout of soot from the North Power Station (NPS) that affected area residents.
BELCO’s Occupational Health Safety and Environment (OHSE) team and Company Managers are in regular communication with neighbouring residents and businesses and constantly monitor the emissions from the plant to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations governing BELCO’s operations.
During the past few months, BELCO representatives have engaged in community outreach with various stakeholders including local Members of Parliament, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and representatives from the Bermuda Clean Air Coalition (BCAC) and an online webinar for the general public, in order to foster an open and collaborative relationship.
BELCO President Wayne Caines, accompanied by OHSE staff, have also visited neighbouring properties and engaged with area residents. 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.
BELCO is ISO 14001 certified, which means that it meets the highest international standard for its environmental management system. The Company also complies with the Clean Air Act 1991 and Regulations 1993 issued by the Bermuda Government DENR including additional requirements pertaining to Ambient Air Quality Standards (Clean Air Act 1991) which requires regular quarterly reporting for all pollutants for all averaging periods. BELCO has been compliant with these regulations and the conditions cited in all BELCO Controlled Plant Operating Licenses & Operating Licenses Conditions (OL-114) throughout the commissioning of the North Power Station and since the 1 April 2020 handover.
Director, OHSE and Business Continuity Mark Pacheco said: “Our team are working diligently with the operations team to mitigate adverse impacts from the plant. While we are in compliance with all statutory and environmental requirements and have carried out testing of water tanks with results also in compliance with world health regulations, we have worked with neighbouring properties to install water filtration systems and continue roof cleaning and painting as required. Long-term fixes are also ongoing including engine modifications that are aimed at preventing soot fallout and more efficient engine operation. We will also be installing tank filters to alleviate the smell emanating from the NPS fuel tanks. I would encourage anyone affected by our operations to reach out to us via email at email@example.com.”
BELCO President Wayne Caines said: “BELCO is committed to working with all stakeholders in relation to our impact on our neighbours and the wider community. We have outlined and are implementing a plan to ensure our plant operates at optimal efficiency and with minimal impact on the surrounding community. We are also working towards becoming a renewable energy company but this will take time and resources to implement. I would ask for the community’s patience and understanding as we work to provide a reliable and renewable energy supply to our valued customers.”