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Frequently Asked Questions

When is an Environmental Permit required?

When do I need planning permission?

If I have a Building Permit from the Parish Council/KSAC do I still need a Permit?

How does one apply for an Environmental Permit/Licence?

What documents are required for submitting an Environmental Permit/Licence Application?

What is the Project Information Form?

What is an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)?

Who reviews the EIA?

Do I require other statutory approvals to start a project/development?

What is the application fee for an Environmental Permit Application?

What is the cost for a Environmental Permit?

Where do I go to get a Environmental permit?

When is a Environmental Licence required?

What is the application fee for an Environmental Licence Application?

What is the cost for an Environmental Licence?

When do plans/drawings require seals/stamps?

Can I draw my own plans?

What documents are required for submitting an Environmental Permit/Licence Application?

Can I start my project/development once my application has been submitted?

How will my project/development be monitored or inspected?

How long does it take to process my Environmental Permit Application?

What happens after the Permit or Licence is granted?

What are the Benefits of obtaining an Environmental Permit?

When are Environmental Permits not required?

How do I make enquires on my permit application?

When does an Environmental Permit expire?

When does an Environmental Licence expire?

How do I make an appeal on my Environmental Permit/Licence?

What are the penalties for starting work without an Environmental Permit?

What are the penalties for breaching an Environmental Permit?

What are the penalties for starting work without an Environmental Licence?

What are the penalties for breaching a Environmental Licence?

Will I be informed when the Environmental Permit/Licence is granted?

What does the Application Review Process involve?


 

When is an Environmental Permit required?

An Environmental Permit is required to undertake any construction, enterprise or development of a prescribed nature anywhere in the island of Jamaica and the Territorial Sea of Jamaica. The permit is intended to safeguard the various environmental/natural resources from direct damage due largely, but not exclusively, to physical development. Click here for categories that require  permits. 
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When do I need planning permission?
Planning permission is required if you are carrying out building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on over or under land or the making of any material change in the use of any building or other land. Please note that, in addition to planning permission, you may also require an environmental permit if the activity that you are proposing to conduct is a prescribed category pursuant to the Natural Resource Conservation Authority Act 1991. List of Prescribed Categories
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If I have a Building permit from the Parish Council/KSAC do I still need a permit/licence

Yes. You may require  a permit/licence if your project falls under any of the prescribed categories, pursuant to the Natural Resources (Prescribed Areas) (Prohibition of Categories of Enterprise, Construction and Development) Order, 1996 (Amended 2004), You are required to obtain an environmental permit.  Once there is the discharge of trade or sewage effluent directly into the environment after treatment you are required to obtain an environmental licence. It is also recommended/required that an environmental permit is obtained prior to attaining your building permit from the local authority.
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How does one apply for an Environmental Permit/Licence?

An applicant is required to complete an application form (for a permit and or licence) and a Project Information Form for submission to NEPA. The applicant is required to provide supporting information Click here for Guidelines/Checklist.
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What documents are required for submitting an Environmental Permit/Licence Application?

You are required to adhere to the following guidelines. Click here

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What is the Project Information Form?

The Project Information Form forms a part of the application and provides information on the proposed project and the location. It is a document which enables the Agency to determine whether the applicant needs to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). If an EIA is required the applicant will be notified. Where the environmental impact from the development will not be significant, an EIA will not be required. Note that the form is generic and as such not all questions may be applicable to your proposed project.
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What is an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)?

An EIA is a study which outlines the impact the proposed project is likely to have on the area in which the physical development will be carried out. It also outlines mitigation measures necessary to reduce the negative impacts of the project and or alternative options.
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Who reviews the EIA?

The EIA report is reviewed by NEPA and other agencies depending on the nature of the development. Some of these agencies are:-

Water Resources Authority
Mines & Geology Division
Office of Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management
Jamaica Bauxite Institute
Jamaica National Heritage Trust
Environmental Health Unit
National Works Agency

The EIA is made available to the public for their review and comments.
The public is also involved in the review process as public presentations are held in to get comments on the proposed development. Comments must be submitted in writing to NEPA within thirty (30) days of the public presentation.
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Do I require other statutory approvals to start a project/development?

Yes. You may require other statutory approvals to start a project/development, therefore please check with your local authority.
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What is the application  fee for an  Environmental Permit?

The application fee for an Environmental Permit Application is Two Thousand Dollars ($2000.00)
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What is the cost for an Environmental Permit?

The cost of an Environmental Permit Environmental Permit Fee Fifteen Thousand ($15000.00) upwards click here
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Where do I go to get an Environmental Permit?

You may submit your applications for Environmental Permits/Licence to the:-

Applications Secretariat Branch,
National Environment & Planning Agency
John McIntosh Building,
10 Caledonia Ave,
Kingston 5,
Jamaica, West Indies
Business Hours: Mondays to Fridays - 8:30am to 4:30pm (Cashier closes at 4:00 p.m.)
Telephone: (876) 754-7540 Ext 2307
Fax: (876) 754-7595
Email: applications@nepa.gov.jm
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When is an Environmental Licence required?

An Environmental Licence is required for the discharge of treated sewage effluent, treated trade effluent and poisonous/harmful substances into the environment (air, ground or water)

The NRCA may not grant a permit or licence, if it is of the view, that the activity in question is likely to cause injury to the environment or to public health. t
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What is the application fee for an Environmental Licence Application?

The application fee for an Environmental Licence Application is Two Thousand Dollars ($2000.00).
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What is the cost for an Environmental Licence?

The cost for an Environmental Licence is Seven Thousand Five-Hundred Dollars ($7500.00).
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When do plans/drawings require seals/stamps?

All plans/drawings submitted for Environmental Permits/Licence applications require seals/stamps. Architectural drawings must be certified by a registered architect, engineering drawings must be certified by a professional engineer and site and subdivision plans must be certified by a commissioned land surveyor.
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Can I draw my own plans?

Please see requirements for plans to be prepared or certified by a professional on NEPA’s website. Click here for TCPA/NRCA Notice.
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What documents are required for submitting an Environmental Permit/Licence Application?

You are required to adhere to the following guidelines. Click here
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Can I start my  project/development once my application has been submitted?

No. You must obtain an Environmental Permit/Licence along with the other relevant statutory approvals prior to the commencement of work.
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How will my project development be monitored or inspected?

Your project will be monitored by NEPA to ensure that the stipulated conditions are met. Additionally, facilities may be required to undertake self-monitoring and submit regular reports to NEPA. Click here to see  NEPA's Monitoring Process
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How long does it take to process my Environmental Permit Application?

Applications are processed within a standard 90 day timeline or less; however, applications requiring additional assessment will take a longer time to process. For example projects requiring environmental impact assessments, projects in close proximity to sensitive habitats and projects that are multifaceted.
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What happens after the Permit or Licence is granted?

The proponent is notified in writing that the permit/licence has been approved as well as the sum to be paid. 
Post-permit monitoring will be conducted by NEPA to ensure that the stipulated conditions of the permit/licences are complied with.  Additionally, the permitted may be required to undertake self-monitoring of the facility and submit regular reports to NEPA.  The Authority reserves the right to revoke or suspend any permit or licence if stipulated conditions are not being upheld.
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What are the Benefits of obtaining an Environmental Permit?

An Environmental Permit will:

• Enable you to optimize the productive processes of your enterprise/development (for example, through waste reduction, recycling, energy and water conservation;  site selection and site design/layout)
•  Protect your investment
• Ensure the protection of the environment and orderly development in order to achieve sustainable development in managing Jamaica’s land, wood and water.
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When are Environmental Permits not required?

If your project falls outside of the prescribed categories, pursuant to the Natural Resources (Prescribed Areas) (Prohibition of Categories of Enterprise, Construction and Development) Order, 1996 (amended 2004), you do not require an environmental permit to carry out your activity, however, other statuary approvals may be required, therefore check with your local authority.
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How do I make enquires on my Environmental Permit/Licence Applications?

You may make enquiries on your permit application by:-
Telephone: (876) 754-7540 Ext 2307;
Fax: (876) 754-7595
Email: applications@nepa.gov.jm or

You may also track your Applications online using your Reference Number (which is in your NEPA’s Application acknowledgement letter) at NEPA’s website at: http://amandaweb.nepa.gov.jm/AMANDA5/eNtraprise/Jamaica/public/public_query.jsp

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When does an  Environmental Permit expire?

If the permitted activity does not commence within five years after the date of the permit, then the Environmental Permit is void and the Permittee must re-apply for a new Environmental Permit. When the permit is for specific period, the period is stated as a condition of the permit. The validity of the Environmental Permit is usually indefinite
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When does an Environmental Licence expire?

Your  Environmental Licence will expire at the end of five years from the date of your licence. top of page

How do I make an appeal on my Environmental Permit/Licence?

You may appeal a condition, a decision or determination made by the Natural Resources Conservation Authority in writing, specifically setting out the grounds for an appeal to the Portfolio Minister pursuant to Section 35 within 28 days of the date of the decision of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority or such further period as the Minister may in any special circumstances allow. top of page

What are the penalties for starting work without an Environmental Permit?

It is a breach of Section 9 (2) of the NRCA Act to undertake a prescribed activity without the holding of an appropriate Permit can attract a penalty on conviction in a Court of law to a fine of up to $50,000 and/or up to 2 years imprisonment. If a fine is imposed and not paid, then up to 1 year imprisonment and if offence continues then an additional $3000 per day may be imposed for each additional day the offence continues after conviction. In addition, a Cessation order may be served requiring the cessation of the activity. 
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What are the penalties for breaching an Environmental Permit?

It is an offense to breach any of the terms or conditions of your Environmental Permit which can attract a penalty on conviction. On conviction one may be fined up to $50,000 and/or up to 2 years imprisonment. If a fine is imposed and not paid, then up to 1 year imprisonment and if offence continues then an additional $3000 per day may be imposed for each additional day the offence continues after conviction. A Permit may be suspended or revoked if the conditions are breached.  top of page

What are the penalties for starting work without an Environmental Licence?

It is a breach of Section 12 of the NRCA Act to discharge sewage, trade effluent and poisonous or harmful substances into the environment without a licence. This action can attract a fine of up to $50,000 and/or up to 2 years imprisonment. If a fine is imposed and not paid, then up to 1 year imprisonment and if offence continues then an additional $3000 per day may be imposed for each additional day the offence continues after conviction.  In addition, a Cessation order may be served requiring the cessation of the activity. top of page

What are the penalties for breaching an Environmental Licence?

A licence may be suspended or revoked if any of its terms or conditions are breached. It is also an offence and can attract a fine of up to $50,000 and/or up to 2 years imprisonment. If a fine is imposed and not paid, then up to 1 year imprisonment and if offence continues then an additional $3000 per day may be imposed for each additional day the offence continues after conviction.
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Will I be informed when the Environmental Permit/Licence is granted?

Yes. You will be informed in writing or you may use your Application Reference Number to access information on NEPA’s website at: http://amandaweb.nepa.gov.jm/AMANDA5/eNtraprise/Jamaica/public/public_query.jsp

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What does the Application Review Process involve?

Application Intake
Initial data entry associated with the submission of the Application. The Application is assigned a date (the date the application is received by the Agency). The application is also assigned a unique number (file number/tracking number).

Application Verification
This involves preliminary assessment of the Application to determine whether or not the Application is complete. The assessment is to ensure that all the relevant documents are submitted and meet established standards. All applications must meet the requirements/standards of the checklists; if not, the application is considered incomplete and is returned.

Application Dispatched to Commenting Agencies
Based on the obligations of the Legislation, the Agency is required to consult with other Government Agencies regarding Applications. Agencies from which comments are required to facilitate further processing of the Application include; the Water Resources Authority (WRA), National Works Agency (NWA), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) [These Agencies are normally given 30 days to respond to NEPA].

Technical Review
A review of the application by technical officers of NEPA The review might involve desktop research and includes the application of relevant environment and planning standards. Site visit(s), to verify or to obtain additional information, may also be carried out. At this stage, additional information may be requested of the Applicant (for example an EIA).

Internal Review Committee (IRC) Deliberation
A Committee made up of technical experts/staff of the Agency. All Applications are reviewed at this Committee. [The Committee meets weekly or as necessary].

Sub-Division Committee (SDC) Deliberation
The Sub-Division Committee is a team of technical experts. The Committee deliberates on the recommendations from the technical review of Subdivision Applications – 10 Lots & Over. [The Committee meets once per month or as necessary].

Technical Review Committee (TRC) Deliberation
This is a sub-committee of the Board (NRCA/TCPA), and is made up of technical officers from a number of technical Agencies of Government. The Committee reviews applications made to the Authority and makes its recommendation(s) to the Board. [The Committee meets once per month or as necessary].

Authority/Board Decision
The NRCA Board deliberates on the recommendation(s) of the technical review committee and makes a decision on applications pursuant to the Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act. [The Board meets once per month].

Permit/Licence is Ready for Collection
Letter/invoice dispatched informing the Applicant that the Permit/Licence is ready for collection.

Permit/Licence Issued
Applicant pays fee and collects the Permit/Licence.

Application Closed
The end of processing of the Application and Post permit monitoring begins.

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  About NEPA | Contact Us | Find U

  About NEPA | Contact Us | Find U

National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA)
10 & 11 Caledonia Avenue, Kingston 5
Tel: 876-754-7540 Fax: 876-754-7595/6
Hotline: 876-1-888-991-5005
Email: applications@nepa.gov.jm