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To the editor,

A recent article in The Coast ("The shadow of power," November 23) suggests that athletes and others looking forward to the proposed Commonwealth Games in 2014 should be concerned about emissions of sulphur dioxide from the power plant at Tufts Cove. Writer Tim Bousquet references concerns but little air quality data. There is lots of data available from government regulators.

We monitor and report concentrations of sulphur dioxide at four monitoring stations within the HRM. They are located at Albro Lake, Bedford, Water Street and Lakeside. Any measured concentration reflects contributions from all sources in HRM. Our recordings for sulphur dioxide have not exceeded the levels established in the NS Air Quality Regulations and levels are typically well below the accepted levels. Nova Scotia Environment and Labour also maintains its own monitoring stations around HRM.

Although the games location is close to the plant, there is no reason to expect the levels of sulphur dioxide will be higher than those at our monitoring locations around HRM.

In addition, we've made significant reductions in air emissions from all our power plants: Sulphur dioxide is down by 25 percent and will be further reduced another 25 percent by 2010. Recent regulations in Nova Scotia have reduced the sulphur content of the oil burned at the power plant. We are also reducing mercury and nitrogen oxide emissions.

The installation of the precipitators at Tufts Cove have eliminated over 90 percent of the particulate leaving the stacks, addressing most of the concerns of our neighbours. 

To learn more, visit nspower.ca.

By Margaret Murphy

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