ArcelorMittal Plant run into trouble in Trinidad

February 26th, 2008 - 8:07 pm ICT by admin  

By Paras Ramoutar
Port of Spain, Feb 26 (IANS) ArcelorMittal’s plant in Trinidad and Tobago has run into trouble with many companies in the multi-billion industrial estates at Point Lisas accusing the steel major of violating environmental laws. According to reports, the Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Corp Ltd (Plipdeco) has filed a formal complaint with the Environmental Management Authority (EMA).

The complaint included aerial photographs showing black and sometimes orange clouds of steel dust spiralling from the plant. Residents of the nearby communities are suffering from the emissions from the plant.

In its letter to the EMA, Plipdeco said: “Based on air monitoring done from the period June 2007 to November 2007 at various stations, particulate matter (PM 10) and total suspended particulates (TSP) were noted to exceed EMA’s regulations.”

Short-term exposure to PM 10 can irritate the lungs and cause lung constriction, producing shortness of breath and coughing.

An official of Plipdeco stated that the result of these staggering emissions of pollutants has seriously deteriorated the air quality in the area surrounding the plant.

“In addition to the health of our employees, the iron dust particles wreak havoc with our cranes, shortening their working life and increasing maintenance costs astronomically.”

He said ArcelorMittal’s continuous response is that improvements were in progress, but they were yet to see any concrete results.

It is reported that Keith Rowley, minister of trade and industry, was recently informed of the pollution problem when he visited the estate.

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