NEW LABOUR Minister and MP for La Brea Stephen McClashie has intervened in an impasse between his constituents and Caribbean Gas Chemicals Ltd (CGCL) over excessive noise and vibrations coming from the US$1billion plant.
Last Thursday, McClashie met with chairman of the Sobo Village Council Marlon Greaves and a few residents of Chin Fung Alley and Griffith Alley, who have complained about excessive noise and damage caused to their homes since the project started on August 17.
He is expected to meet again with representatives of CGCL, the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and Greaves on Tuesday to try to resolve the issuse.
La Brea councillor Gerald Debisette on Saturday confirmed he is also expected to attend the meeting with McClashie.
Residents have also taken to social media to vent their displeasure, complaining that the noise was “overbearing , extremely loud, annoying and preventing them from sleeping.”
The EMA, which the residents also contacted, has already visited the area and is investigating whether the noise from the plant is above the level allowed by the Noise Pollution Control Rules and the certificate of environmental clearance (CEC) it would have granted to CGCL.
CGCL has promised to be responsible, investigate all claims lodged by residents and cooperate fully with all the relevant authorities.
CGCL is a locally registered petrochemical company, based at Union Industrial Estate, La Brea. CGCL’s gas to petrochemical complex is TT’s eighth methanol plant and its first dimethyl ether facility. Its shareholders comprise a Mitsubishi consortium (Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company Inc, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries), the National Gas Company and local conglomerate Massy Holdings Ltd.
In a statement, CGCL confirmed that it began receiving complaints from residents of the Square Deal, Vessigny and Sobo communities (who live outside the buffer zone of the Union Industrial Estate) over excessive noise and vibrations, shortly after it commissioned its facility on August 17.
It responded, “CGCL acknowledges that the noise levels would be above what residents would have been accustomed to, prior to this exercise and is concerned about the wellbeing of our neighbours.”
As a result, CGCL said, it has sought to ascertain the validity of the complaints by monitoring noise levels throughout the plant and along the perimeter, roadways, entrances and exits of the industrial estate, intermittently during the day and night.
It said additional testing had been done in the areas from which the complaints had come (Square Deal, Chin Fung Alley, Sobo) "to determine source and compliance.”
The company said it is also aware that residents have complained to the EMA, and intends to co-operate fully on the issue.