Smoke is still rising from the fire that started at the Cox Heath dump four months ago and residents are being told to brace for even more emissions.
Manager at the Department of Waste Management Greg Massicote said smoke emissions may increase when they begin a clearing and cooling exercise at the site.
He said once the site is cleared of the piles of waste, his department will then have space to find and extinguish the hot pockets still smouldering beneath the piles.
He told BVI News water will be pumped on to the hot pockets for cooling.
“So, for that period, we will have a little more smoke than usual but I would say we are going to try to make it as quick as possible, especially since we know what the community in West End has been dealing with,” Massicote said.
“The sooner we get in there the quicker the smoke will diminish. As for how long will it take us to do it, it’s kind of hard to put a timeline on it at this point mainly because, as we start digging into the piles and cooling it, we are not sure how deep the fire is. So, we are going to find out the more we attack the heat,” Massicote explained.
He further explained that the metal waste at the site is still being processed.
“We are hoping that a barge will be in pretty soon to remove whatever processed metal that’s there as well as the derelict vehicles.”
Asked if the residents should be concerned by the degree of smoke still being emitted at the dump, Massicote said: “Any kind of smoke is not good so there will be a level of concern.”
Work at Pockwood Pond waste facility
Attention is also being given to the Pockwood Pond waste facility, which also had a fire incident in recent weeks.
“We spent the last two weeks packing up the site, trucking dirt to help contain the smoke as well, and to create more space. We have been working seven days a week since two weeks ago so we are hoping to wrap that up in the next couple of days at Pockwood Pond. When we are finished there the plan is to mobilize and attack Cox Health.”
He said his department has sole responsibility for the two sites but they may call for assistance from the Virgin Islands Fire & Rescue Service, if necessary.
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