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HomeNewsArchivesSmoke From B.V.I. Incinerator Should Vanish by 2010, Officials Say

Smoke From B.V.I. Incinerator Should Vanish by 2010, Officials Say

A new incinerator at the B.V.I. government’s Pockwood Pond dump should help alleviate the acrid smoke that occasionally blows across Drake’s Passage to the Coral Bay area of St. John, according to a recent Government House release.
"These emissions have been a source of complaints from residents of Coral Bay, St. John, and now there are growing concerns about the effect on health, business, the environment and ecology in the territories," Gov. John deJongh Jr. said in a press release issued Friday.
The governor, along with federal and local officials in the territory, met recently with B.V.I. officials to discuss solutions to the problem.
V.I. National Park Chief of Resource Management Rafe Boulon attended the meeting. He said that B.V.I. officials plan to have the new incinerator up and running in the second quarter of next year. The incinerator is on site, and Boulon said B.V.I. officials indicated it needs some electrical wiring work and some tests before it’s operational.
The B.V.I. government bought the new incinerator because the old one could no longer handle the increasing workload. The press release indicates the old incinerator will continue to operate along with the new one.
According to the Government House press release, the old one has a capacity of 40 tons a day, while the new one can handle 100 tons a day. The B.V.I. burns up to 90 tons a day, far more than it did when the government bought the old incinerator more than 10 years ago.
The new one meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards and will have better scrubbers that will help cut down on emissions, Boulon said. Additionally, he said the waste in the new incinerator will burn at a higher temperature than the old to further reduce emissions.
At issue is the fact that Tortola residents continue to dump tires and waste oil at the Pockwood Pond site, the press release indicated. This is what causes the noxious black smoke that comes from the dump.
Additionally, Clyde Lettsome, permanent secretary in the B.V.I.’s Ministry of Natural Resources, said that fires are burning underground thanks to spontaneous combustion. That smoke also blows toward Coral Bay. He referred further questions to Solid Waste Department manager Anselem Myers, who could not be reached for comment.
According to the press release, B.V.I. officials said they will be more vigilant with the separation of garbage, removing tires and waste oil from the rest of the garbage at the central burning site. B.V.I. officials made assurances that tests done regularly at the site show no unacceptable level of toxicity.
The meeting between territorial and B.V.I. officials happened because Boulon and Coral Bay Community Council President Sharon Coldren pushed for it, Boulon said.
Coldren, who made a Power Point presentation on air pollution issues, said she’s worked on the problem for several years.
"I went to the State Department," she said.

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