Roseau Valley Residents Concerns Addressed at Geothermal Plant Visit to Guadeloupe
In an effort to reduce the negative perception of geothermal plant on the minds of Dominicans, Minister of Public Works, Energy and Ports Honourable Rayburn Blackmoore, led a team of media personnel, and residents of the Roseau Valley to tour the Bouillante Geothermal Plant in Guadeloupe.
The team met with the Mayor of Bouillante, Mr. Malo Jean Claude, A representative of the residents who live around the plant, Mr. Martial Baltimore, and Ms. Lisette Taillander, President of the Association of the Bouillante Geothermal Plant among others.
During the meeting the residents stated that, although the plant has been in existence for the past 35 years, they have had no major concerns especially as it relates to those of what was expressed in Dominica.
The Mayor said that there are houses in the immediate area of the plant and the residents have never complained of any toxic gas fumes, nor contaminated water or ever experienced any earthquake that was caused as a result of the geothermal plant’s operations.
A representative of the residents who live around the plant, Mr. Martial Baltimore says the noise of the plant does not affect them too much.
The residents added that they never had any skin related infections, caused by any aspect of the plant though no independent study has been carried out.
However they did point out that there are some level of noise pollution while the plant is operating during the night, Director of the Bouillante Geothermal Plant Mr. Didier Gautlier said they are working on that aspect.
After further talks with the residents and the Plant Manager, the Dominica delegation was convinced that a geothermal plant has more positives than negatives that Dominica will benefit from.
Resident of Laudat Mr. Nixon George stated this plant visit was very enlightening as his concerns were addressed, and seeing people living literally 10 feet from the plant with the only concern of a minimal noise pollution at night is nothing that cannot be dealt with.
He said the Dominican personnel who will be in charge of the plant, need to make sure they follow all procedures to ensure the plant is safe at all times, and if approached properly this geothermal plant will have many benefits for the people of Laudat.
Alfred Rolle another resident of Laudat says this visit has convinced him that geothermal is the way to go.
Mr. Rolle added that there are more advantages than disadvantages of a geothermal plant in Dominica, especially as it will be a more modern one than that of the one in Guadeloupe so where all gases will be maintained.
Mr. Harris Hodge from Laudat says what he saw during this visit removed all doubts he had of a geothermal plant in Dominica.
With that he says he is giving his full support to the project which will benefit the Residents of the Roseau valley.
He is urging the residents of the Roseau Valley to let not their heart be troubled, as God has everything in control as he is the architect of life so therefore we should not be fearful.
Minister of Public Works, Energy and Ports Honourable Rayburn Blackmoore stated, the plant for Dominica will be more advanced in technology which will have a capacity of 15 megawatts.
The Minister pointed out there are a number of measures taken which will guard against any negative impact to the environment, hence the reason why they have the best experts working on the project.
Upon completion of the test wells being drilled he stated, there was no harm done to the environment based on scientific testing.
Mr. Blackmoore went on to say that we are blessed with many natural resources which we must use to turn into something that can work for us, in order to realize the prosperity that has evaded us for far too long.
As the Bouillante plant does not have a reinjection well, the waste water is treated and sent to the sea, however for some people it is not seen as waste, as residents and visitors bathe in the sea where this water flows and creates a hot water pool.