The Ministry of Health is actively working on ways to properly dispose of decommissioned propane tanks within the territory, as these tanks have been linked to spontaneous fires at the landfill in Pockwood Pond.
This is according to Health Minister Carvin Malone who told BVI News the issue has become a grave concern.
“From time to time we do see propane tanks there and once there is any holes caused later and the gases begin to escape from the tanks, then this is an easier cause for which any sparks will cause further fires,” Minister Malone stated.
“Untreated waste has natural emittance of gases, so together with that, this would make igniting of fires at the plant even faster,” he further explained.
Efforts to reduce tanks to landfill
Malone said talks with a local propane tank businesses has prompted government to find methods that will effectively track the life cycle of these tanks to minimise the possibility of them reaching the Pockwood Pond waste facility.
“Locally, the importers are saying what should be done is that the tanks should be decompressed and there will be no more gas to be leaked from them. But sometimes these tanks are moved from homes directly to landfills and this is where the problem comes in,” Malone explained.
“So we have to find a way of inventorying as to how many tanks we brought in, versus how many tanks are returned or stored safely so that we can then have it fixed and reduce the transport to the landfill,” he added.
In search of proper disposal protocol
The Health Minister further said that a number of additional measures are being taken by the government to discover the proper disposal techniques of propane tanks within other countries.
“This seems to be an issue in many of the jurisdictions that we have contacted, but we’ve reached out to Puerto Rico so far to find what is their method of safely restoring and of disposing of propane tanks that have been put out of commission,” Malone said.
He further said he was not satisfied with the safe disposal methods identified by any of the outside jurisdictions so far but assured the public that his ministry will continue to seek measures until a suitable one is discovered.
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