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UPDATE: BVIEC workers grateful for Asphalt Plant’s quick response

The plant as seen earlier today February 12, 2015. Photo: Team of Reporters
The dust emitting from the faulty stack at the Pockwood Pond Asphalt Plant. Photo: Provided
The dust emitting from the faulty stack at the Pockwood Pond Asphalt Plant. Photo: Provided
Staff had to resort to temporary measures of suiting out themselves as it they were doctors dealing with Ebola patients or as if they were chemists working in a cyanide plant. And they did not fail to bring their grievances to their management’s attention. Photo: Provided
Staff had to resort to temporary measures of suiting out themselves as it they were doctors dealing with Ebola patients or as if they were chemists working in a cyanide plant. And they did not fail to bring their grievances to their management’s attention. Photo: Provided
BVIEC Deputy General Manager Mr Henry O. Creque and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Mr Anthony S. McMaster have intervened to have the situation speedily dealt with. Photo: VINO/File
BVIEC Deputy General Manager Mr Henry O. Creque and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Mr Anthony S. McMaster have intervened to have the situation speedily dealt with. Photo: VINO/File
The thick dust on one of the cars in the area minutes after parking at the BVIEC plant at Pockwood Pond. Photo: Provided
The thick dust on one of the cars in the area minutes after parking at the BVIEC plant at Pockwood Pond. Photo: Provided
POCKWOOD POND, Tortola, VI – Workers who had contacted this news site complaining about the emitting of pollutants from the nearby Asphalt Plant which had negatively affected them are now singing praises for the company’s prompt response.

Contacted today February 12, 2015 the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) workers confirmed that the plant was in operation yesterday afternoon February 11, 2015 and was not emitting the pollutants.

“The Asphalt Plant was on yesterday even and we did not get any fumes at all from [it]. So that means that they fixed the problem on the plant,” said one employee.

According to reports management of the Asphalt Plant had subsequently called the BVIEC workers to confirm their comfort level. “Sometimes it’s good to complain, not just complain but very strong levels of complaints. We are very thankful that they rectified the problem and we are all happy neighbours now,” added another worker of the BVIEC .

Up to press time they said that the plant had not been on for today. Several efforts were made by our news room to secure a comment from the owners of the plant but all to no avail.

See previous article published on February 11, 2015:

BVIEC workers force closure of asphalt plant @ Pockwood Pond

- Say emissions from nearby plant a health hazard

POCKWOOD POND, Tortola, VI – Workers stationed at the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) power generation plant at Pockwood Pond have forced their management to make immediate interventions to quell their alleged suffering experienced as a result of the reported faulty operations of a privately owned asphalt plant that operates in the area.

“This has been going on for years and it's getting worse now because they doing it everyday now when before they used to do it like once every two months and we used to complain and now its getting overbearing now because we getting this stuff that we inhaling and it's burning your nose,” one BVIEC employee told this news site.

The problem stemmed from the heavy dust materials being emitted from the stack of the asphalt plant, which the employees described as sand and tar being literally showered on them on a daily basis.

“Look I have my family and my children to live for and this is killing us out faster, my health comes first, I have to live for my children and if this situation is not dealt with things going to happen,” said one of the obviously disturbed employees.

Photographs shown to this news site gave a clear picture of the situation as thick layers of the byproduct of the asphalt production can be clearly seen covering vehicles, the BVIEC power plant building, the driveway and other parts of the compound.

Staff members said they had to resort to temporary measures of suiting out themselves as if they were doctors dealing with Ebola patients or as if they were chemists working in a cyanide plant. And they did not fail to bring their grievances to their management’s attention.

When contacted, BVIEC Deputy General Manager Mr Henry O. Creque confirmed the plight of their workers at the Pockwood Pond Power Plant site. He said that for the past few days management was bombarded with complaints and took it very seriously as the situation was one that demanded immediate and urgent remedial actions.

Creque added that while they were very concerned about their employee’s health and safety, they were also concerned about their assets as the products emitted from the asphalt plant threatened the power plant also.

“I think it was about two weeks ago we started getting complaints from our staff at the Pockwood Pond Power Station about the debris from the asphalt plant next door going right into the power station and it was making it extremely difficult for them to breathe, they worried about their health, which is a valid concern, and they and management are also concerned about the equipment at Pockwood Pond because that could affect the generating equipment down there,” said Mr Creque.

He said immediate contact was made with the Ministry of Communications and Works because of the fact that they were the ones using asphalt more than any other on the island. “I have to say that each time we have contacted them they have been very responsive. They in turn contacted the owners of the plant and they have switched off the plant and either not use it or use it as little as possible,” Mr Creque further explained.

But even as it was being used as little as possible subsequently, the problem still persisted and, according to acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Mr Anthony S. McMaster, the owners are being held accountable not to ever put the plant on again unless certain remedial actions are taken.

“We did receive a call from the management of BVIEC around mid-morning and as a result of that we touched base with the plant owners and it was agreed to shut down the plant,” said Mr McMaster.

He explained that it was his understanding that one of the motors for the scrubbing unit, which is responsible for cleaning the pollutants out of the smoke, has an issue. “So they have agreed to shut down the plant and have the motor addressed before they restart it. So hopefully the matter has been resolved so we would just monitor it from here and see what is actually taking place.”

“From what I understand, they will have the motor repaired before they use the plant again, that is my understanding so that is what we will be holding at.”

The completion of the Blackburn Highway road works hinges on the very asphalt plant’s ability to provide the product as, according to Mr McMaster, they have been advised that in order to protect and maintain the integrity of the asphalt used on that road they should continue with asphalt from the one plant.

He said that the government’s asphalt plant at Fish Bay is operational but because of the importance of consistency in the quality and type of asphalt they have to complete the road with that from the private asphalt plant they started with.

One of the persons connected to the Pockwood Pond asphalt plant Mr Ashley Ritter said he had no comment when contacted by this news site.

33 Responses to “UPDATE: BVIEC workers grateful for Asphalt Plant’s quick response”

  • cay (11/02/2015, 09:06) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    Who own the plant?
  • definite hazard (11/02/2015, 09:08) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Here we see yet another move that is not fully thought out! Not only the BVIEC employees are affected but also residents in that area as well. This is a residential/industrial area. The majority of the muck will go in the direction of the wind, but the pollution is widespread. This explains why a few of my friends who live in Pockwood Pond have been coughing non-stop in recent time!
    • It's POLITICS! (11/02/2015, 10:05) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
      When you have political connections you do what the hell you want and it doesn't matter who suffers.
    • i have a question (11/02/2015, 11:42) Like (6) Dislike (13) Reply
      that plant been running way before and nobody ever had issue with it i use to go church west end on sundays and that plant was running full blast when i was a little boy and it never had a issue back then now people want to make a big issue of it tortola people you guys need to wake up and stop acting like a bunch of spoil children blaming everything on the government i mean if the breeze blow too hard its some political party i wonder if we let the queen or if we go independent what would most of yall be saying cant please BVI hypocrites at all even when you get more than others or get when you dont deserve you still complain about everything!! lets seee some of the replies i get to this
      • Me (11/02/2015, 15:09) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        Please read the article before you complain. They said that there is a problem with a motor associated with the plant; that is why it has the problem. When you were going church back then the motor was fine. All the plant seems to need is a repair of the motor, then nobody will be complaining about pollution.
      • Hush (11/02/2015, 16:39) Like (45) Dislike (1) Reply
        Not because the complaints of the ordinary citizens never got "breaking news' don't mean there haven't been complaints. The residents have been complaining to authorities all the time but its who gets listened to
  • Blame the NDP? (11/02/2015, 09:18) Like (15) Dislike (17) Reply
    Why NDP gone to give one of VIP's strongest supports work (Asphalt Plant)...???? I thought they only helped friends and family... Now we can't get our roads nor our power fixed............. Damn you NDP........ But on a serious note.... Nothing is ever carefully assessed or planned out in this place meson. Where ever their first thought is to put something, that's where they put it. Forget how close it may be to other facilities or even the public. Forget what effects the pollution will have. What pathetic little country.... Can we do anything right?? !!!
  • Blame NDP? (11/02/2015, 09:25) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    No, No, I have a better one. NDP put the BVIEC workers to complain about the Asphalt plant because they want to shut it down, that way, they can run their plant.....Good one eh....??
  • up til now (11/02/2015, 10:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I seen several write ups about the activities of the one in fish bay as well, but up til now no one from the government or not even the current representative has said one word. Elections is soon here again when they take their head out of the sand it will be too late for them.
    • facts man (11/02/2015, 10:50) Like (3) Dislike (13) Reply
      Stop talking nonsense!! The Governments of the past didn't listen to the residents in Fish Bay. This Government stopped that plant and are now putting a new plant in place that won't have those problems. You all seem so comfortable telling bold face lies for no reason. The Fish Bay issue is being worked on which is why GOvernment is relying on the old plant down pock wood. BVIEC complained and the owner said he has shut it off and will fix it before restarting it. What is the problem?
  • qc (11/02/2015, 10:40) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    when skelton dem plant on how come no one complaint set of two faced people
    • rattie (11/02/2015, 11:07) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
      can't wait to ditch the NDP this is a set up to take away the work from Ritter when they know the government plant aint working we reading right through it
  • sandwise employee (11/02/2015, 10:54) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is a plot against us...Plain and simple.
  • zoe (11/02/2015, 11:01) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    I urge all workers to flee.
  • East Chic (11/02/2015, 11:04) Like (5) Dislike (30) Reply
    I would love to know what would be our solution to these problems, when we do not have a land area that is just set aside fo rthese kind of work that is still needed in the territory. Everybody complaining yes and our health in jeopardy but where do they put them. We complain about the concrete business and the blasting, we complained about the incinerator, we complaining now about asphalt. How do we build the big fancy houses, how do we get the nice smooth paved roads, we want the garbage off the streets. Lord we always want but when we get we complain. Give solutions for once nuh. Would you turn to building wood homes versus concrete homes, would you want to drive on dirt roads. Do you wish to give up your flat land in a non residential area to have all these businesses there?


    We in the BVI just know how to whine and nag and make noise.
    • LOL (11/02/2015, 13:09) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      "how do we get the nice smooth paved roads" ...WHEREEE ?!
    • @ East Chic (11/02/2015, 15:55) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      From your name I assume you are in the eastern part of the island and because its not a bother to you, then who cares. To answer your question, why don't you leave the east for 5 nights and move down Pockwood Pond and then answer the question after you've had to endure the pollution. I'll give you a room.
  • we the people (11/02/2015, 11:21) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    this is a set up to use the Shelton plant people do not buy it...ritter will get his part fixed soon
  • bad minded (11/02/2015, 11:30) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    this is much to do about nothing just to set up white head because he is a VIP
  • lmao (11/02/2015, 11:59) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    One of the persons connected to the Pockwood Pond asphalt plant Mr Ashley Ritter said he had no comment when contacted by this news site.

    Even Ashley don't want anything to do with VIP and their esteemed cronies anymore LOL. I heard so but didn't realize it was the god given truth.
  • Info (11/02/2015, 12:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    http://www.bredl.org/pdf/BeSafe_Asphalt.pdf
  • enough (11/02/2015, 12:34) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    raw sewage pouring into the sea past the dolphin place polluting the sea now toxic air pollution poring into the atmosphere, both should be against the law. How many tourists will want to come here to breathe toxic air and swim in human waste.
  • ........ (11/02/2015, 12:34) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    See how the ndp had the workers call up the on line news site with this but want to vitimise thoes same people ehrn they drop information on ndp crouption they mad
  • i from here (11/02/2015, 13:43) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Is a BIG VIP Supporter own this Plant! VIP Cronies can't blog today huh ?
  • sea weed (11/02/2015, 13:46) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Why they against white head he is one of us
  • alpine (11/02/2015, 14:17) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    This plant has been causing enough nightmare to the residents of Pock Wood Pond, it don't bother the white head king he lives on coxheath hill no problem to him you cant sleep at night you close down the windows and put on a/c it strangling you, who the hell to complain to no one cares. You call for the minster he in meetings one day all these meetings will be over God soon come for he world. But we need to start suing them backside we are human just like them, only have a look inside us and see our lungs and liver only God knows what they looks like.
  • cay (11/02/2015, 17:26) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where is the ddm.?
    • @ cay (11/02/2015, 20:20) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      that lazy department? they only comes out during hricane to talk talk talk talk to get on the radio
  • wize up (12/02/2015, 07:48) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    a result of poor planning by our leaders; next issue is the road leading to the main entrance to the new hospital.....
  • yellow jounalism (12/02/2015, 15:44) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    see this is good news but the other sites do not have it ...they so bias
  • 123 (13/02/2015, 00:35) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good job Mr Ritter


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