Tests show no harmful emissions from GEBE

CAY BAY–The results of tests conducted in the vicinity of the Cay Bay power plant of utilities company GEBE show that there is no indication that nearby communities are exposed to exhaust-gas concentrations from the burning of fuel oil at its facility.

GEBE’s Managing Board had ordered an investigation into gases in the environment after last year’s reports of students and staff of the Leonard Connor School becoming ill by a gas in their environs, which led to the evacuation and subsequent closure of the school.

GEBE said in a press release on Thursday that Medi Check was hired to obtain, determine, measure and evaluate the gas in the air and to present its findings to GEBE. “The tests were carried out using two part indicators and conclusively declared that on a 31-day, daily average basis, there is no indication that the Cay Bay or Pelican communities are exposed to fuel oil exhaust gas concentrations, including 53 different volatile organic compounds, exceeding the EU/RIVM/WHO threshold limits for safe ambient air.

And that on a one daily basis there is no indication that the Cay Bay and the Pelican communities are exposed to PM 2,5ug and PM 10ug platelets (ultra-fine dust and sooth) concentrations exceeding the EU/RIVM/WHO threshold limits for safe ambient air.”

According to the release, GEBE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kenrick Chittick had informed authorities that the gas Hydrogen Cyanide HCN that was measured in preliminary reports by the investigative team was not a waste product of heavy fuel, light fuel and lubricant oils that GEBE uses to produce electricity.

GEBE said it had been implicated in the environmental, health and safety issue in November last year. The company said it was alleged that exhaust gas emanating from the production plant’s exhaust gas stacks had been hazardous in the area.

Because of the effect on the school, Education Minister Silveria Jacobs had called for an investigation and “it was verified that gas was indeed looming in the air and thereby affecting the school,” the release said. “Unfortunately, reports indirectly associated NV GEBE as the culprit and led persons to assume that the exhaust gas from the exhaust gas stacks was the underlying cause of the illness that had befallen some students and staff of the Leonald Connor School.”

“The Managing Board of GEBE remained adamant in its knowledge that the exhaust gas did not play a factor in this matter and noted that no accounts of such cases occurring within the immediate surroundings of the production plant were ever received.

Despite the results exonerating NV GEBE of this environmental, health and safety implication, the Managing Board of NV GEBE agreed to assist the Ministry of Education, Culture and Youth Affairs, in upgrading the inadequate electrical installation of the Leonald Connor School and the building itself.”

The electrical upgrade increased the electrical load capacity that eliminated the electrical problems the school had been experiencing and also permitted for the installation of air conditioning units donated by GEBE.

Chittick said businesses have a social responsibility to the community. He considers the NAf. 313,013 invested in the school “as money well spent on education.”

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/67456-tests-show-no-harmful-emissions-from-gebe