Men fined $150,000 each for beach breaches
A Trelawny businessman and a contractor employed to him have each been fined $150,000 for breaches of the Beach Control Act.
Businessman Rashidi Williams and contractor Orville Webb last week pleaded guilty to encroaching on the foreshore and floor of the sea by undertaking dredging and reclamation works without a beach licence from the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA).
Their convictions were secured by the National Environment and Planning Agency with support from the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
The men had reportedly defended their actions saying the work was minuscule.
However, Manager of NEPA’s Legal Services Branch, Deborah Lee Shung who represented the NRCA during the matter, explained that there was a cumulative effect of such activities.
NEPA says dredging or reclamation of coastal resources can have dire consequences on the environment if effective mitigation measures are not in place.
It could affect fish populations, coral resources as well as ecosystem services provided such as shoreline protection.
Director of NEPA’s Legal and Enforcement Division, Morjorn Wallock says the Agency has revamped its enforcement strategy and more charges are coming for breaches of the environment and planning laws.