MEDIA RELEASE -  May 22, 2009

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), is emphasizing increased enforcement activities against operators of sewage treatment plants who violate standards set by the Natural Resources Conservation Authority, (NRCA). According to Peter Knight, Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at NEPA, this is one of several initiatives which it will implement to maximize compliance levels across Jamaica. He made the announcement earlier this week at the Opening Ceremony of the five-day GEF-IWCAM waste water training workshop, at the Rose Hall Resort Hotel, in Montego Bay, St. James.  

Mr. Knight said that, the NRCA which is an advisory board with which the NEPA consults on key environmental decisions, should also set Performance Bonds. This he said would ensure that standards are adhered to and maintained. The Bond would enable NEPA to: provide economic incentives to encourage private sector investment in the sewerage sector; promote government/donor agencies participation in the wastewater sector such as the PAHO/UNEP involvement in evaluation of wastewater plants and finalise the National Sanitation Policy remembering that sewage management does not mean sanitation but is rather a component of it. 

NEPA will also revive the Jamaica Association of Wastewater Operators, which Mr. Knight said will act as an oversight and lobby group. It would allow NEPA the opportunity to register and or licence wastewater treatment operators across the Jamaica. The revival of the Association would also accompany the Waste Water and Sludge Regulations which are currently in draft. Mr. Knight reminded that, these will also set stringent standards by which operators and owners of industrial and sewage treatment facilities are bound to abide. The Jamaica Wastewater Operators Association which was formally registered in 2002 provides a framework for establishing the first wastewater operators’ certification programme in Jamaica. It is funded and implemented by USAID/Jamaica. 

In outlining other strategies in the proposal NEPA will use to tackle non-compliance, Mr. Knight commended the GEF-IWCAM project for affording sewage treatment operators needed training and exposure in the area. According to him: ‘the well timed Workshop would afford tremendous opportunities for the improvement of operating and maintenance standards for wastewater and sewage treatment facilities in Jamaica’. Mr. Knight said he was confident that, given the range of outcomes at the end of the workshop that all participants would benefit from enhancing their individual capacities.

The GEF-IWCAM Project which is managed by NEPA focuses on sustainable environmental practices in the Drivers River Watershed and the development of a watershed management model for Eastern Portland. The successes of the model will be implemented later throughout the other twenty-five Watershed Management Units in Jamaica, as well as the rest of the Caribbean. 

Email to friend Email to a friend | Print this page

National Environment & Planning Agency
10 and 11 Caledonia Avenue
Kingston 5
Tel: 754-7540
Fax: 754-7595/6