Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Gardens of Acadia suffering from cesspool stench

Published:Saturday | February 6, 2016 | 2:00 AM

RAYMOND WEBB

rwebb@cwjamaica.com

It is now almost three months later and we are now drowning in the stench from the external cesspool from what is supposed to be an apartment in appropriately named Gardens of Acadia.

We are now gasping for breath like fish out of water, trying to survive. Light-headedness, illnesses and intolerable discomfort greet us each day and night, while letters written to the relevant authorities have elicited no action. Medical bills continue to climb as respiratory illnesses caused by the unsanitary odours from Gardens of Acadia. One now questions what therefore, is the reason and use of authorities who are appearing helpless to solve what is undeniably a major health hazard among other things.

An update received one week ago indicated that steps are still being taking to resolve the matter. Yet we sit here as I write, February 2, wondering why we should have faith in a system that seems either uncaring or unwilling to resolve the matter.

Please advise if any action will ever be taken given we are already fighting a possible outbreak of the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases that breed and multiply in these very conditions.

For context, below is a letter from the NEPA's Legal and Enforcement Division:

January 25, 2016

Dear Mr Webb,

Further to your email of even date on the captioned, the Legal and Enforcement Division has been tracking this matter. The following has occurred since December 2015-January 2016:

I. In December 2015, the agency wrote to the manager for the strata indicating that they should dialogue with the NWC to have the housing complex connected to the NWC's sewer main;

II. We also indicated that if the odour nuisance continues unabated, legal action would be taken.

III. The strata wrote to the NWC per our recommendation; the agency was copied.

IV. The agency gave the strata until the end of December 2015 to submit an application for an environmental licence.

V. By letter dated 4 January 2016, the strata indicated that the engineer required more time to do a proper analysis of the plant and that parts are being procured;

VI. The strata also indicated that work was being done on the plant and, as such, there were challenges collecting data. The data are crucial to the submission of the application for the environmental licence.

A site visit was recently done. The enforcement branch is currently preparing a file for submission to the legal branch.

Legal branch will take action per paragraph II above.

Morjorn Wallock

Director, Legal and Enforcement Division

morjorn.wallock@nepa.gov.jm

National Environment & Planning Agency