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CyprusEnvironment

EAC must answer for pollution near power plants, MPs say

The Vasiliko power station

Measures must be taken immediately to tackle the pollution caused by EAC substations in Dhekelia and Vasiliko, the House environment committee heard on Wednesday.

Deputy committee chair Nicos Kettiros said that the Dhekelia electricity station has operated in violation of EU directives on pollutant emissions for the past 10 years, “with locals quite literally paying the price for it”.

Kettiros accused both the government and EAC of not doing the necessary planning to tackle the issue, saying that “people should know very well why they have been receiving sky-high electricity bills the past few months”.

As for Vasiliko, where EAC operates another power plant, he said the concerns of people living in the area are totally justified as plumes of smoke come out of the plant’s chimneys at least once a day.

“The black fumes that you see coming out of the chimneys every day, generated from the cleaning of the plant’s boilers and chimneys, enter the atmosphere but are miraculously omitted from the labour inspection department’s air quality readings,” he said.

“This is what the committee heard from the competent services,” he added, saying that “someone is being made a fool of”.

Diko MP Christos Orphanides said that after visiting Vasiliko he observed that the smoke is released from the plant at different times, which was a concern.

He also echoed Kettiros in accusing EAC of not providing accurate statements, saying that the EAC spokeswoman had said the smoke appears during adjustment of the air-fuel-ratio, which is done to reduce emissions.

“After I made what I saw public, EAC closed one of the chimneys it had in the area. This confirms that something was going on that EAC failed to account for”.

Orphanides said the same black smoke has been observed near the Dhekelia plant, urging EAC to at least obtain a licence to operate it.

“Unfortunately, we are forced to state once again that the residents of the Vasiliko area have been reduced to second-class citizens,” Elam MP Sotiris Ioannou said.

He called on the state and the relevant services to finally come to their senses and banish any thoughts of moving any new factories to the area.

 

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