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JAMAICA | PNP wants health and environment impact assessment for Industry Cove Housing Development

Featured Opposition Shadow Minister on Land and the Environment, Senator Sophia Frazer Binns says it is uncomfortable and disheartening that NEPA has failed to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment before the commencement of construction of such a major housing development. Opposition Shadow Minister on Land and the Environment, Senator Sophia Frazer Binns says it is uncomfortable and disheartening that NEPA has failed to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment before the commencement of construction of such a major housing development.
Kingston, Jamaica, October 19, 2018: The Opposition Shadow Minister on Land and the Environment, Senator Sophia Frazer Binns, is calling for “urgent action to protect the lives of the citizens and the environment of the Industry Cove Community in Hanover from potential exposure to harmful toxins.” 

She said there is an atmosphere of unrest among the residents of Industry Pen in Hanover because of the blatant environmental breaches being committed on a housing project in the area which is threatening the health of the residents.

The Opposition Shadow Minister said, “Based on information received, it appears that there are major breaches of the established protocols and provisions under the Act and as such the commencement of construction by the National Housing Trust (NHT) is without the requisite Environmental License from NEPA,” she said.

Senator Frazser Binns says it is uncomfortable and disheartening that NEPA has failed to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment before the commencement of construction of such a major housing development.

The PNP Spokesperson on the Environment stated further that the offence is even more egregious and disappointing as a warning notice issued by NEPA was disregarded by another agency of the Government of Jamaica.

The current issue at the centre of the construction of the housing development at Industry Cove “…brings to the fore the longstanding issue of conflict of interests between environmental good practices and expediency of development construction,” Senator Frazer Binns said. She noted that this is a matter for which clarity is needed and in which the Prime Minister having responsibility for both portfolios, should intervene.

She stated that the inaction of the Government to impose proper sanctions for these breaches demonstrates a total disregard for citizens, and the environment as a whole.

“It is dumfounding how approval could be granted for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant when such clear and imminent risk to the coral reef, mangroves and air quality are evident,” lamented Frazer-Binns.  

“The issue of the complete and proper treatment of sewage remains unresolved and the Government has shown no interest in resolving same, but seems willing to have sewer flow into our oceans.”

The Opposition PNP is calling on the Prime Minister to act immediately and ensure the proper Health and Environmental Impact Assessments on the NHT Housing Development in Industry Cove Hanover, and by extension maintain the appropriate support, technical expertise and the necessary oversight to effectively address these problems.

The Senator said government must enforce strict penalties against the responsible bodies for the blatant breaches of these regulations. The People's National Party remains resolute about the protection of our citizens and their constitutional rights to a clean and healthy environment and stands ready to support any policy properly designed to promote same.

  • Countries: Jamaica

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