The Academy of Sciences receives a request to investigate the damage of the battleship

Santo Domingo. The Academy of Sciences of the Dominican Republic has received a request from various environmental and community organizations to join the multidisciplinary team that will form the Ministry of Public Health to conduct an investigation in order to determine the extent of the serious harm to health. Because of the power generation barges located on the Ozama River owned by Seaboard Transcontinental.

The organizations have submitted this request to the Academy of Sciences as a scientific institution, as a watchdog and guarantor of a transparent work that gives more legitimacy and confidence to civil society.

They also considered that the Academy’s mission is “the knowledge, promotion, research and dissemination of science and technology in the country, as an essential basis for national, sustainable and independent development”, and it encourages and supports research in various fields. human knowledge.

Also, that one of its aims is to ensure the protection and defense of natural resources, “understood as the vital and inescapable heritage of the country, the property and wealth belonging to society as a whole and to the future Dominican citizens.”

They were greeted by their Chair and Coordinator of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, Dr. Luis Schecker Ortiz and Felicita Heredia, respectively.

After receiving the request, Dr. Luis Cheker Ortiz stated that the Academy of Sciences always has a position to support any work that seeks to protect the environment and natural resources, especially water, so “it is a solemn obligation of the Academy to formulate science, to always be able to count on the support of our researchers so that studies can be conducted the interview “.

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He positively appreciated the ability to take joint actions that would allow the liberation of the nation and the parties severely affected by this “anomalous situation”.

“We do not know what mandate or right accompanies these corporations, but there is no right above the Constitution of the Republic, and if an unlawful right is exercised, then the Constitution of the Republic dictates that regulations should be made and placed in good conditions, what hitherto was a very troubling harm and loss to the nation. and country,” Sheker Ortiz said.

Along with this request, the organizations also provided the Academy of Sciences with a study by scientist Ray Hoares of the International Environmental Law Alliance (ELAW), which revealed how heat pollution, air pollution, noise and vibration from these barges affect health. Residents of sectors of the region, such as: Calero, Pueblo Nuevo and Maquiteria in Villa Duarte; Los Guandules, Las Cañitas, Santa Bárbara, Villa Francisca, La Barquita and the Colonial City.

The entities that submitted the application are: Program of Community Action for the Environment (PACMA); Osama’s Environmental Hope Committee; National Network for Resistance and Environmental Damage Repair; Institute of Lawyers for Environmental Protection (INSAPRAMA); Center for Consolidated Workers (CTU) and the National Committee to Combat Climate Change.

The Environmental and Legal Defense bodies have requested the President of the Academy of Sciences, Dr. Louis Schecher Ortiz, to appoint a representative of the institution to be an integral part of the team that will be appointed by the Ministry of Public Health in investigating the effects of these barges, on both health and the environment, emphasizing that The participation of the Academy of Sciences and the Dominican Medical College is a guarantee that these studies will be conducted.

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The submitted report proves the presence of air pollutants in the area where the boats operate, such as nitrogen oxides, whose exposure to nitrogen dioxide, the main compound, causes respiratory irritation, bronchial narrowing, difficulty breathing, asthma attacks and an increased risk of respiratory infections.

Emissions of sulfur oxides also form polluting particles that alter the development of lung function in children and contribute to the deterioration of lung function in adults; In addition, they cause and exacerbate asthma and cardiovascular disease.

This study reveals that these plants pollute 15 times or more than what standards require for a generator of the same capacity. They cause asthma, heart disease, skin disease, insomnia and nerve disease from vibrations. Because of the long time of the 32-year-old plants, it is necessary to screen victims in the area, said Jörn Cuevas, executive director of INSAPROMA.

Regarding noise and vibration, the document states that “the presence of significant noise and vibration pollution is a nuisance and possibly a source of serious health problems for neighboring communities”.

The study notes that: “High noise levels can cause hearing loss, especially for prolonged periods. However, other than hearing loss, prolonged exposure to moderate noise levels causes a wide range of problems, from disrupted sleep to cognitive functioning in children and cardiovascular disease. bloody.”

For these reasons, the report concludes: “Electric barges operating to marine standards for environmental impacts are not suitable for placement in dense communities like Santo Domingo for extended periods.” Another conclusion of the report is that HFO (full oil), the dirtiest petroleum-derived fuel, should be discontinued completely.

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This coalition of NGOs had previously submitted a request to the Ministry of Public Health requesting a comprehensive medical investigation to determine the extent of the serious damage to health caused by these power generation barges owned by Seaboard Transcontinental. It is located on the Ozama River. They have requested the intervention of the Ministry of Public Health as the governing body in matters of collective health in our country.

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