NEPA issues stop order on Amity Hall Agro Park
Monique Grange, Assistant News Editor - Radio
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has issued a stop order on the construction of the Agro Park in Amity Hall, St. Catherine.
The CEO of NEPA, Peter Knight, says the order was issued after the Agro Investment Corporation was found to be carrying out river basin works at the site without an environmental permit.
The Corporation is an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture.
He says although the Corporation applied for a permit, it went ahead with activities to establish the Agro Park before the permit was approved.
Knight says a team from NEPA revisited the site last week and confirmed that the breaches took place.
The order, dated June 19, states that the Corporation may be liable to prosecution if it fails to cease the activity which is in breach of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act.
Knight says the chairmen of Agro Investment and the NRCA are in discussions aimed at resolving the issue.
In addition to the stop order, the corporation was also served an enforcement notice outlining the environmental breaches.
Earlier NEPA had reported that there were also breaches at the Ebony Park Agro Park in Clarendon.
However, on that occasion the Corporation said it was unaware of the requirements.
Subsequently three managers from NEPA were assigned to provide guidance so that the Corporation meets the requirements.
The Amity Hall and Ebony Park agro parks are among nine such facilities to be established over the next three years as part of plans by the government to put some 8,000 acres of land into agricultural production.
The government says the parks will assist in the creation of employment as well as help to reduce the national food import bill.
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