Jolyn Bryan, Gleaner Writer
ALBION, St Thomas:
RESIDENTS OF Albion, St Thomas, have vehemently rejected a proposal by the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to build a transfer station in the community.
In response to complaints about the present condition of the Church Corner landfill, it was reported that lands in Albion had been identified for the purpose of locating a dump.
On Tuesday night, at a meeting convened by the Albion Citizens' Association and Community Watch and the agency, members of the NSWMA sought to clarify statements that were made to the press.
"There is not going to be a dump in the community. The proposal is for a transfer station to be built that will act as storage for the waste before it is transferred to the Riverton City Landfill in Kingston. No site for this facility has been identified. It is currently under investigation," said Percival Stewart, director of operations at the NSWMA.
This proposal, however, did not get approval from the residents, who said they would not allow such a facility to be built in their community.
Referring to recent issues with sewage disposal and the transfer of residents to houses built in another section of the community, Keith James remarked, "It is the third negative blow to the community. We are saying no, it cannot work. The people are serious, it cannot work. We want the development that is coming. If we have to help you find another location, we will, but we are saying no."
Stewart said the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) had made objections to the facility being located in Albion because of the swamp lands in the community that house one of the largest numbers of crocodiles in the parish.
Stewart said no application had been made to NEPA for approval of a site in Albion.
Protocol for identifying sites
Richard Nelson, manager of enforcement at NEPA, highlighted that there is a protocol for identifying sites for building.
"Any development within an environment and areas that are considered critical, close to wetlands, watersheds, marine environments, because of the sensitivity of these areas, we would have required what is called an environmental impact assessment to be done. We would take into consideration what the findings are. We'll also take into consideration what the public thinks," he told The Gleaner.
He noted that assessments would be done on a scientific basis by internal engineers and a final recommendation be made to NEPA, which would make the decision to grant or deny approval.