JIS News

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has served a Breach Notice on the management of Industrial Chemical Company (ICC) Jamaica Limited, in relation to Saturday’s (September 12) Sulphuric Acid spill at the company’s storage facility close to the Greenwich Town Fishing Village, Marcus Garvey Drive, Kingston.
In a release, NEPA said that, under the terms of the Breach Notice, ICC has 30 days in which to construct a bund (embankment or dyke) at the facility. Additionally, the Agency says it will be taking further action against ICC, under the Natural Resources Conservation Act and the Wildlife Protection Act.
NEPA, in partnership with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the Marine Police has all but completed its investigations into the spill, which has affected residents and fishing in and around the fishing village, which borders West Kingston and South West St. Andrew.
“Tests have shown that the pH level of the ambient water quality in the area is returning to normal. Both surface water and water taken from a depth of three metres were tested by NEPA’s laboratory staff,” the NEPA release said.
“There are still residues of the acid in the soil, along the path the material took to the sea. There is a concern that a period of heavy rain could wash out the sediment into the marine environment. If there is no rainfall in the area, the land is expected to be rehabilitated within the next four weeks. However, NEPA is unable to say whether such a washout will have any significant impact on the marine environment.
“Based on laboratory tests, there is no evidence to prevent the resumption of all activities in and around the area affected by the acid spill. ICC is expected to submit a report to NEPA by Tuesday, September 15, 2009.”
NEPA also reported that it has convened a four-member team to complete a quick-scan of the coastline along the Kingston Harbour, to identify those enterprises which conduct trade in hazardous substances. Once the scan is completed, the enterprises will be directed to apply for permits for the relevant activities.

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