Sat | Dec 3, 2016

JET could take legal action against Negril breakwater project

Published:Tuesday | December 16, 2014 | 6:50 PM

Local watchdog group Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) says it is not ruling out taking legal action to stop the construction of two off-shore breakwater structures in the Long Bay area in Negril.



It was announced today that the Natural Resources Conservation Authority has approved construction of the breakwaters as part of a beach management strategy to slow the pace of erosion of the Negril coastline.



However, the project has been the source of great contention among environmentalists, residents and the business community in Negril who argue that the break water system will damage the environment and affect tourism in the community.



JET has insisted that the wrong approach was taken in respect of the project.



JET's executive director Diana McCaulay says an Environmental Impact Assessment on the building of the breakwaters and public consultation of every demographic of Negril should have been done before the idea was brought to the implementation stage.



According to the National Environment and Planning Agency, the NRCA granted the National Works Agency (NWA) Beach Licences for the construction and maintenance of the breakwater structures, dredging of the sea and coastal reclamation.



NEPA says the Beach Licences have been issued contingent on a number of conditions.



Given the public's interest NEPA says the terms and conditions of the licences will be made available to interested parties to allow stakeholders the opportunity to hold the developers accountable for the works planned.



A monitoring partnership is also to be established through the formation of a Local Monitoring Committee that will include public and private sector interests.



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