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NEPA stance on Riverton unacceptable, says Environment Trust

Published:Monday | March 10, 2014 | 8:54 AM

Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor - Radio



The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) is chastising the state’s environmental watchdog for its decision to allow the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to continue operations at the Riverton City Landfill without the necessary permit.




For decades, the landfill has been operated without the necessary environmental permit, despite several concerns about the possible health and environmental effects.



However, Peter Knight, the chief executive officer of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) says his agency will not penalise the NSWMA, given the financial constraints under which it is operating.



According to Knight, it makes no sense issuing a permit to the NSWMA knowing that it will not be able to meet the conditions given resource constraints.



However, the head of JET, Diana McCaulay, says this is unacceptable.



She says NEPA has a responsibility to enforce environmental laws and should insist on timelines for the NSWMA to comply.



In the past, NEPA had mandated the NSWMA to improve the standard of its operation to be granted the required environmental permit.



The public-cleansing agency had submitted a three-phase improvement plan, however, since then, no progress has been made.



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