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400 air filter masks procured for landfill smoke affected residents – Hon Malone

- said works to restore operations of Pockwood Pond Incinerator will be completed by September
Smoke emanating from a landfill fire near the Pockwood Pond Incinerator on Tortola on June 2, 2019. Photo: Facebook/File
Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL) is confident that repairs to the Pockwood Pond Incinerator on Tortola will be complete by September 2019. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL) is confident that repairs to the Pockwood Pond Incinerator on Tortola will be complete by September 2019. Photo: VINO/File
A landfill fire at Pockwood Pond, Tortola, photographed from a distance on the night of June 2, 2019. Photo: VINO
A landfill fire at Pockwood Pond, Tortola, photographed from a distance on the night of June 2, 2019. Photo: VINO
Respirator masks for smoke and dust. Photo is not of actual masks to be distributed by the Government of the Virgin Islands. Photo: Wirecutter
Respirator masks for smoke and dust. Photo is not of actual masks to be distributed by the Government of the Virgin Islands. Photo: Wirecutter
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Smoke and fume affected residents in West End and in proximity to the Pockwood Pond Incinerator will be given masks in the interim, as works on key components to make the incinerator operable is likely to be completed by mid-September 2019.

With Consutech and Skelton Electricals haven been given the contract for the assembly, works have already started as a result of initial payment and Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL) is confident the project will be completed as expected.

“Mr Speaker… work on both contracts have commenced. It has been advised that the lead time for the construction, assembly, delivery, commissioning and initiation of the panel is estimated between eight to twelve weeks,” Hon Malone said in his House of Assembly (HoA) statement, yesterday July 16, 2019.

Masks for Citizens

In the interim, according to the subject Minister, efforts are being continued to reduce the occurrences of spontaneous combustion and to reduce the effects of smoke on residents and visitors alike.

“Although not uncommon to all landfill and/or dumping sites, the nuisance caused by the smoke has given rise to both immediate and medium terms measures,” Hon Malone said.

He stated the Environmental Health Department is in the possession of approximately 400 air filter masks which would be made available to affected persons and households in Pockwood Pond and West of the incinerator beginning Thursday, July 18, 2019, at the office of Environmental Health located at John’s Hole, next to the Red Cross Building.

Hon Malone noted that the staff of the department will be on-hand to demonstrate and train individuals on the proper use of the masks supplied.

“I must add that I do believe that we would have enough and will procure enough so that residents in Virgin Gorda and any other areas that may well be affected by this, until we have it under control, would also be invited to actually participate in the training and the supply of these masks,” he announced.

Air Quality monitoring

Further, the department has plans to embark on a project to install 4 air-quality monitoring stations in the surrounding communities of the Pockwood Pond waste management site so as to advise residents of the corrective actions that would be deemed necessary in the event of the disturbances caused by the fires and smoke.

There is at least one known family that has sourced and installed a similar system at their Romney Park home, this news site can confirm.

In further measures, government through the Ministry of Health has requested proposals for the specifications, sourcing and pricing of both foam and seawater pumping, transmission and dispersing equipment.

“Requests for proposals for the specifications, sourcing and pricing for proper landfill equipment for the compaction and capping of materials at the Pockwood Pond site or at any future site has been advised and will be initiated again at the Ministry,” Hon Malone said.

The Health Minister further noted, “The situation at Pockwood Pond is and will continue to be taken with the urgency that it is.”

11 Responses to “400 air filter masks procured for landfill smoke affected residents – Hon Malone”

  • WHAT!!!! (17/07/2019, 12:36) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    B.S. a bandaid fix, we are supposed to live and sleep in our houses with masks on??? The incinerator should have been fixed long time ago and a SCRUBBER INSTALED or we are just breathing the same poison but from a different source.
  • Jay (17/07/2019, 14:20) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    .will i be one of the lucky 400? is this a joke???? fix the damn problem ,,I'm sick of so many bandaids
  • Band aid (17/07/2019, 14:22) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fix the incinerator
  • Quiet Warrior (17/07/2019, 16:27) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Simply, a horrible situation.
  • wize up (17/07/2019, 16:47) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    unbelievable: when it come to our people we are given all manner of talk and more talk: we on the west sucking down toxic fumes: will this muck be repaired before next election
  • What? (17/07/2019, 18:49) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    400? Pockwoodpond, West End? Cappoon’s Bay, Carrot Bay, Long Bay, Cane Garden Bay, Balist Bay AFFECTED BY THIS SMOKE & ONLY 400? I feel shame for who cane up with this shit!! Build a proper incinerator!
    • wize up (17/07/2019, 22:13) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ what....who vex vex all manner of foreign stage performers come to our country and get paid upfront with tax money here we have citizens and residents suffering for quite sometime with toxic fumes: why not invest some of those tax dollars that are handed over to Foreign entertainers and fix our people’s matters: there is a time and place for everything and the time is to fix our country after that lets have all the live entertainment(look at the many villages that are affected with this mucking problem)
  • Ridiculous (18/07/2019, 07:16) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Filter masks are designed to remove particulate air contaminants, not gases and vapors (read the manual). It is the latter that tends to cause acute (short term) effects. Waste of money. Air monitoring ditto as it gives after the fact data (too late if the results were bad). High results may also open rhe door to expensive litigation (gross negligence). Spend the money instead on better waste management policies and practices (segregate wastes for example) and fix the incinerator and its pollution control technology.
  • Like a real movie (18/07/2019, 08:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    That’s a real Netflix movie! I can see it now!! 2020
  • Captain (19/07/2019, 10:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Enough talk and band aids! Fix the incinerator
  • Gaia (19/07/2019, 16:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    As an Environmental Scientist I must say that this is so much b.s.... yawn!


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