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Transport ministry, NEPA to tackle JUTC black-smoke issue

Published:Saturday | June 29, 2013 | 1:04 PM

The Transport Ministry has sought the assistance of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) to deal with the emission of black smoke from state-owned buses.



The move comes after growing complaints from members of the public forced NEPA to write to the Transport Ministry about the problem.



Speaking at a post-Sectoral debate press conference yesterday, Environment Minister Robert Pickersgill acknowledged the escalating complaints from the public about smoke emissions from vehicles, with the state-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) listed among the worst offenders.



He notes that this is an offence under the Road Traffic Act and says the Government should be setting a better example.



Chief executive officer of NEPA Peter Knight says the Ministry of Transport has sought its assistance to address the problem.



However, Knight says to effectively address the issue, the proper legal framework and specialised equipment to tests vehicles must be put in place.



Minister Pickersgill says he is hoping that the introduction of ultra low sulphur diesel fuel (ULSD) in Jamaica will help to reduce pollution of the atmosphere caused by motor vehicle emissions.



ULSD was introduced to the local market this week and has been touted as a cleaner option to regular diesel.



Experts say it is better for motor vehicles and the environment.



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