JIS News

An integrated action plan is being developed for the protection of the Kingston Harbour, which involves the management and control of sewage, industrial effluents, solid waste, sedimentation and ship -generated waste.
This was disclosed by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, during Tuesday’s (October 27) sitting of the House of Representatives at Gordon House.
Mr. Golding was responding to questions posed by Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Ronald Thwaites, on plans to prevent further pollution of the Kingston Harbour.
“This integrated action plan will include the promulgation of new regulations, and the institutional strengthening of the regulatory agencies,” Mr. Golding said.
The Prime Minister also informed the House that efforts are being accelerated to channel the sewage, generated in the Kingston Metropolitan Area, into the Soapberry Centralised Wastewater Treatment plant.
“This facility, which currently has a capacity of 18 million gallons per day, can accommodate 600,000 residential and commercial customers. This would allow for the inclusion of the Independence City, Bridgeport, Caymanas and Hamilton Gardens sections of Portmore,” Mr. Golding said.
In addition, the Prime Minister stated that the Harbour View treatment plant, which has been non functional for several years, is to be replaced.
New wastewater and sludge regulations to be promulgated by March, 2010, will provide for revised sewage and effluent standards, consistent with international norms; new licensing requirements for owners and operators of sewage plants; mandatory operational and maintenance practices, including proper record keeping; and increased penalties for violations.
New regulations will also be instituted for the management and disposal of industrial effluent, with special requirements being mandated for those emitting toxic substances.
“All such enterprises will be required to obtain special licenses from the National Environmental and Planning Agency (NEPA), and have approved operational and maintenance plans and appropriately trained personnel in place. In addition to being closely monitored, they will be required to undertake periodic assessments of their effluent management practices and submit reports to NEPA,” Mr. Golding said.
NEPA, in conjunction with the Port Authority of Jamaica, is also undertaking a review of the existing regulations and practices relating to ship generated waste, and monitoring and enforcement practices.
Mr. Golding said that these measures will reduce, significantly, the pollution of the Kingston Harbour. They will also enable Jamaica to accede to the Protocol concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities (LBS Protocol), under the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region.

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