Study reveals there will be five deaths each year due to the polluting effects of Punta Catalina

The pollution generated by Punta Catalina Thermoelectric Power Plant It covers a large part of the national territory and almost the entire Haitian territory. This conclusion was reached by a study carried out over six months by environmental specialists in the Peravia province.

This investigation also determined that This contamination is generated by microparticles of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, coal ash, acid and mercury.toxic substances that are released from plant operations and that severely affect people’s health.

As a result of these findings, the study supported by the Research Center on Energy and Air Quality of Finland, projects that in Peravia, the province where Punta Catalina is located, there will be five premature deaths per year due to inhalation of these harmful substances. While, at the national level, according to the investigation, there will be 57 deaths per year.

In Haiti, the negative impact on health will be even greater “due to cross-border pollution caused by the direction of the windrelief and climatic conditions of the country”.

With 95% accuracy in the data, the report details that in the neighboring nation there will be 127 deaths per year product of the pollution generated by the thermoelectric plant.

According to research, diseases such as diabetes, ischemic heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory tract infections and other non-communicable diseases are seriously aggravated by the toxic substances that are released from the plant.

Likewise, it was found that cases of asthma in infants, the birth of premature babies and low birth weight are also adverse effects of pollution.

The report further notes that The economic cost that mitigating these effects would entail for the Dominican Government amounts to some 30.1 million dollars a year.. While in the thirty years of Punta Catalina’s useful life, the cost will amount to some US$1,230 million.

“A mistake”
“The construction of the Punta Catalina Thermoelectric Power Plant to operate on mineral coal was a serious mistake that is damaging the environment, health, and production systems, inflicting great suffering on the population, especially in the Peravia province,” the statement said. research.

According to the experts participating in the study, Punta Catalina is delaying the adoption of clean and renewable energythe sustainable development of the Dominican Republic and the fight against climate change “which threatens the survival of the entire planet.”

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It also warns about the great risk that the mountains of toxic ash contaminate the crops near the Valdesia dam, one of the largest water reserves in the national territory, because the study found that the sowing of papaya and tomato in the vicinity of the plant are being affected.

Switch to natural gas
The study recommends closure of Punta Catalina due to the great damage it causes to the Peravia province and to a large part of the national territory and rules out the plant’s conversion to natural gas because, as explained in the investigation, “this fuel is as expensive as or more than coal, and also very difficult to obtain on the international market.”

The document that includes the conclusions of the investigation explains that as a consequence of the energy war that has triggered the conflict between Russia and Urania, “Punta Catalina has become a stranded asset that cannot continue operating with coal or gas. natural, for environmental, cost and supply reasons”.

“Trying to continue operating Punta Catalina with these fuels, in case the country gets its supply, would represent a great economic loss compared to renewable energies that are increasingly cheaper,” he points out.

In this regard, it recommends that the Government close the thermoelectric plant within 18 months and replace the 752 megawatts generated by coal plants with renewable energy.

About the study
The communities of Nizao, Don Gregorio, Santana, Catalina, Pizarrete, Carretón and Paya were integrated into work teams from Peravia that investigated the aerial emissions of gases and microparticles from Punta Catalina; coal ashes and their impact on the air, soil, and surface and groundwater, as well as their repercussions on crops, on health, and on the coastline.

The group of experts was made up of the electromechanical engineer Raúl Cabrera, the chemist specializing in air quality, Nikko Médici, the chemist Marcos Rodríguez, the agronomist Milton Martínez, the epidemiologists Adelaida Oreste and Carlos Sánchez, and the chemist and doctor of coasts, Adrian Gutierrez. Most of them are teachers at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD).

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