October 11, 2012
The National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA) notes with interest the reaction to the enforcement action taken against the operator of a funeral home in New Kingston on Monday, 8 October 2012.
To date NEPA has issued a total of four hundred and forty-nine (449) enforcement instruments since 2012 in its bid to achieve compliance with the various environment and planning laws. These include:
- 21 Enforcement Notices under the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act and the Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA)
- 9 Cessation Orders issued under the NRCA Act
- 21 Stop Orders issued under the TCPA.
- 371 Warning Notices
- 6 Notices of Intention to Suspend Permit and
- 48 Warning Letters.
The enforcement actions span a wide range of categories and are taken against an individual or facilities both in the public and private sectors.
A Warning Notice is the first instrument which is used to initiate enforcement action. It is usually issued on site once a breach is detected. Warning Letters are also used to bring to developers' attention any breach that may have been committed and generally indicates that there is still time to achieve compliance.
Enforcement Notices are served under Section 18 of the NRCA Act 1991 once it is deemed that that activity has or will have a serious impact on natural resources and public health. Meanwhile, Cessation Orders are served under Section 13 of the NRCA Act 1991 where a development commences without a permit or licence. A Notice of Intention to Suspend and/or to Revoke permits and/or licences is served under Section 11 of the NRCA Act 1991 and is used when there are continuous breach conditions of the permits/licences without any effort for compliance.
Stop Orders and Enforcement Notices are served under Section 22A and Section 23 respectively of the TCPA 1958 where it is deemed that a development commences or is operating without planning approval.
The highest and ultimate level of enforcement action taken is a summons/court action. Under Section 36 of the NRCA Act 1991 the Authority can prosecute persons who breach environmental laws. Court actions are therefore usually resorted to when all other avenues of enforcement action have been exhausted and compliance is still not achieved.
A current list of enforcement actions may be found on our website at www.nepa.gov.jm under the tab Legal Issues.
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