JIS News

Alumina Partners of Jamaica (ALPART) has put measures in place to alleviate the dust nuisance from the mud lake at its residual facility in Nain, St. Elizabeth.
These measures include the installation of additional sprinklers, setting up another dust monitoring station and the grassing of areas, said Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz.
Mr. Vaz, who was addressing yesterday’s (March 17) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, informed that the measures came ahead of an Enforcement Notice from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), which required that the company address the dust nuisance that has been affecting residents in the surrounding communities.
He informed that the Enforcement Notice, which was effective yesterday, also requests that ALPART provide weekly reports of its monitoring and sprinkling activities at the mud lake for the next few weeks.
“ALPART (had) also been instructed to install additional sprinklers and expand its network (of) dust monitoring stations at the facility,” he said.
At a meeting held on Tuesday (March 16) NEPA commended ALPART for its co-operation in dealing swiftly to reduce the impact of the dust nuisance, which has affected the health of residents.
“The agency accepts ALPART’s apology and actions in assisting members of the communities affected by the dust nuisance. The company has committed to collaborate with the local health department to co-ordinate the response to the community health needs,” he Dr. Vaz informed.
The Minister further pointed out that NEPA will review the 1998 permit issued to ALPART under the Natural Resources Conservation Act, with the intention of including additional conditions for compliance, such as the closure plans for the facility.
Minister Vaz said that he was very concerned when he saw the news report highlighting the effect the dust nuisance was having on residents in nearby communities.
He said that the Office of the Prime Minister, under which NEPA falls, issued immediate instructions for this matter “to be taken very seriously.”
He pointed out that the dust condition at the plant has to be continuously monitored, particularly during drought conditions. “There has to be additional measures that are put in place to prevent a reoccurrence of this, especially as it affects the young and the old in communities (who) have no alternative but to stay there,” he noted.
“This is a matter that we are taking very seriously and we will be monitoring here from the Office of the Prime Minister,” the Minister assured.

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