Cabras fumes blamed for sick port employees

The Guam Power Authority's oldest generators -- Cabras 1 and 2 -- are located in Piti.

Noxious fumes from GPA Cabras generators blew over the Port of Guam early this morning and they’re being blamed for sickening five port employees, one of whom was taken to the hospital.

Port General Manager Rory Respicio told the Pacific News Center that employees on the waterfront said “there was visible strong exhaust coming from GPA smokestacks.”

He added “this has happened before in past years.”

Four employees were screened and cleared, said Respicio.  One was transported to GMH at 4:20 a.m. after complaining of feeling dizzy and nauseated.

That employee was subsequently released from GMH and sent to the FHP clinic for further evaluation and treatment.

In response, GPA spokesman Art Perez issued the following statement:

Cabras Baseload Unit No. 1 was undergoing mechanical repairs this past week.  Yesterday at 6:30 p.m., Cabras operators began preparations to restart the unit to return to service within two hours.  Port Authority personnel were advised of the startup procedures as per notification protocols.”

“Cabras Unit 1 startup ceased at 6:50 a.m. this morning as additional repairs were identified.  The unit is expected to restart this evening; Cabras Operators will follow notification protocols.  In addition, GPA Safety and Planning & Regulatory (Environment Section) will be onsite to monitor any emissions.

Respicio, however, expressed concern about the “lack of notification by GPA” which he said was discussed at the port management meeting Monday morning.

He said his safety and operations personnel reported that “the Port was not notified by GPA, as their notification protocol requires each time there is a startup procedure.”