NEPA to Develop Master Plan Soon


The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) will shortly commence work on the development of a master plan for sewerage and institutional arrangements, for the provision of sewerage services.
According to Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NEPA, Peter Knight, this is one of five initiatives which the agency will be pursuing for implementation, over the next three months.
Addressing journalists at a media briefing at NEPA’s offices in Cross Roads, Kingston, on June 9, Mr. Knight said development of the plan will serve to guide developers and investors on the type of sewerage facilities that meet stipulated specifications and are compatible with the areas in which developments are being undertaken.
Mr. Knight noted that in 2005, the then Ministry of Land and Environment, led an initiative, which entailed several Government Agencies collaborating on the development of an Issues Paper, regarding streamlining sewerage services in Jamaica.
He explained that the document was subsequently submitted to the Natural Resources Sub-Committee of Cabinet, where it was approved. The Acting CEO said evolving from that was a decision and instructions for NEPA to develop a master plan for sewerage and institutional arrangements for the provision of services. This arrangement, he added, would have lent support to the Sewerage and Water Supplies Act legislation, which was being pursued then by the Ministry of Water and Housing. “When we look around the country, though, and when we see and recognise the issues as they relate to sewerage, we feel that if the agency leads the development of the master plan, and it is approved… and we have a master plan for sewerage, then rather than developers or investors proposing different types of sewerage treatment solutions to us, this master plan will indicate to them, the type of facilities that are acceptable in specific areas. This is something that we want to pursue, and we want to come up with a draft within the shortest possible time,” Mr. Knight said.
Other initiatives, which Mr. Knight said are being pursued include: development of private/public sector partnership to train operators of sewage treatment plants; consultations with key stakeholders regarding changes to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process; collaboration with the Mines and Geology Division on the development of a Hillside Development Policy; and strengthening inter-agency collaboration and completing negotiations to develop Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with sector interests.

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