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Desmond McKenzie wants strict timelines to have Riverton issues addressed

Published:Wednesday | May 6, 2015 | 8:57 AMJerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter
Desmond McKenzie

Opposition spokesman on Local Government Desmond McKenzie says the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) should be given strict timelines for complying with the terms of its environmental permits to operate the Riverton City disposal site in St Andrew.

McKenzie stresses that without deadlines the agency may continue breaching the permits without any accountability.

He says stronger action is needed by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).


Opposition Spokesman on Local Government, Desmond McKenzie

The opposition spokesman made the remarks after Environment Minister, Robert Pickersgill responded to questions posed by him.

Yesterday, Pickersgill told the House of Representatives that the NWSMA is behind on implementing its operation and maintenance plan for Riverton.

He said the agency had sought a relaxation of some of the conditions in the permits, which were issued in April 2014, but it was rejected.

The environment minister pointed out that in March NEPA served the NSWMA with notices of intention to suspend its permits if it does not correct breaches.

According to Pickersgill, NEPA is actively monitoring the activities of the NSWMA with regards to Riverton.

There have been calls for greater oversight of operations at Riverton after arsonists set fire to the disposal site in March.

The blaze affected dozens of individuals, schools and businesses with costs associated with the fire already past $300 million.

Meanwhile, Pickersgill told the House that an active search is underway to find a new location for the dump.

While declining to state the proposed location being looked at, the environment minister said NEPA will eventually be called in to assess the suitability of the site.