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Environmental report cautions JPS about building power plant in Old Harbour Bay

Published:Monday | November 23, 2015 | 12:11 PM

An environmental report has recommended to the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) that the removal of vegetation to construct a power plant in Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine, should be strictly limited to the site, to protect the dozens of plant species in the area. 

The recommendation is contained in the environmental impact assessment report for the proposed power plant to be built in the sensitive Portland Bight Protected Area. 

The report notes what while the 52 plant species in the area were not Endemic, endangered, threatened or rare, it was important to maintain the diversity of the area. 

It says the removal of vegetation should be strictly limited to the development site. 

Among other things, it adds that a buffer area should be established and maintained between the project area and the surrounding vegetation. 

Meanwhile, the environmental report says the disruption of habitats to accommodate the plant is expected to be minimal because of land and marine degradation. 

It says the laying of various pipelines may be disruptive but the effect should be minimal. 

The JPS says it is now trying to get the necessary permits to begin construction in the first quarter of next year.

The plant is expected to be completed by early 2018. 

JPS says as part of its public education, the company will host a public consultation meeting tomorrow in Old Harbour Bay.

The environmental report was completed by the Kingston-based CL Environmental Consultants and submitted to JPS last month.