The use of generators has blossomed since Hurricane Maria

With the majority of the island without electricity since the passage of Hurricane Maria, the use of generators has blossomed however the Environmental Health Department is expressing concerns over their use.

Senior Environmental Officer Sylvester St. Ville said the department has received several complaints about noise and pollution the generators cause, especially in urban areas.

To compound the situation he said Dominica does not have standards for emissions from internal combustion engines and this is a problem for the department. He said over the years standards for emissions have been developed but they have not been passed.

“We have draft regulations for those standards, however, we’ve not been able to pass them yet,” he stated on Kairi FM’s Healthy People, Health Environs radio program. “What we try to adopt is the World Health Organization standard for emissions in Dominica. It’s a tasking job presently because we have more generators probably than we have the capacity to monitor the generators in the country.”

He said people are now complaining about the noise and the fumes from the generators and if it continues, negative health outcomes will be seen.

“That is why we are beginning a partnership with the IRC (Independent Regulatory Commission) to begin to regulate the use of generators,” St. Ville stated. “I know people might be saying we are probably trying to be the Grinch that stole Christmas but no, we are not trying to be the Grinch, what we are trying to do now is to regulate the generators that produce electricity and as a result produce contaminants including noise and other air quality problems that will eventually affect our population.”

Meanwhile, Consumers Affairs Officer at the IRC Corine Pinard said generators under 20 kilowatts not connected to the DOMLEC grid does not require a license but must be registered at the IRC.

“This is one of the challenges we are having, there are so many generator sets on island and I would say over 98 percent of them, if not more, are not registered,” she said.

She stated that the IRC wants to work with the Customs Department to channel those coming in with generators to the IRC.

“In so doing, we will have the best record as possible, if it’s not 100 percent but we will have as many of the generators sets registered as possible,” Pinard stated.