Single Food Export, a factory in Ruimveldt, will have to add 10 to 15 centimetres to its generator’s chimney if Ruimveldt residents are to live in a safe environment.
According to reports, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that the chimney is too low and it emits carbon monoxide (CO) which enters the residents’ homes. If the chimney is raised, there would only be a small chance of CO blowing down into the area.
The factory, which is located in the Ruimveldt Industrial Area, freezes fish and uses a generator because the power supplied by the Guyana Power and Light is not dependable.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that cannot be seen and is deadly to humans if inhaled in great concentrations. When Stabroek News visited the area in February, residents had said they believed the factory’s emissions had killed a woman because her post-mortem examination showed that she died from clogged lungs. Anthony Cozier, the woman’s husband, said she was not a smoker. A child in the area was also admitted to the hospital in February for several days because his lungs were clogged up.
Another resident had said all of her children have asthma and the fumes were detrimental to them. “You can’t even get air in ya house, how the smoke so bad, you always have to close ya door,” the resident said.
In addition to having unclean air, the generator was also found to be above the noise limit. The maximum amount of noise a generator can produce during the day is 100 decibels and 80 at night. The Single Food Export generator produces 86 decibels.
It is expected that once the EPA report on its investigations into the Single Food Export company is approved, the company will be asked to insulate its generator to reduce the noise and make the surroundings more environmentally friendly.
When previously contacted in February, a SFE representative had denied the company’s culpability for any form of pollution in Ruimveldt.
Further, the representative had said that the facility had been inspected by the EPA. When Stabroek News visited Ruimveldt yesterday, the generator was still in operation, but some of the residents had since vacated the area.