August 3, 2011
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) today served three Enforcement Notices against the West Indies Alumina Company (WINDALCO) for discharging improperly treated industrial effluent into the environment. The Notices were served in accordance with section 34 of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act.
NEPA served the Enforcement Notices (ENs) after investigations on July 22, 2011 confirmed the discharge of improperly treated industrial effluent into the Old Johns Gully in Ewarton, St. Catherine.
The discharge of improperly treated effluent is a serious threat to natural resources as it may lead to contamination of the soil, surface water, under-ground water resources and may damage flora and fauna in the area. It is also a serious threat to public health as it is corrosive and hence harmful to humans on contact.
The ENs give WINDALCO until Friday, August 19, 2011 to cease the discharge of improperly treated trade effluent from various facilities into the environment. WINDALCO is required to post appropriate signs on or before 5 August 2011 around the contaminated areas identifying the corrosive nature of the trade effluent.
Under the ENs WINDALCO is required to prepare and submit an Environmental Assessment of the Impact of the pollution incident and a Rehabilitation Plan to include but not limited to the following:
The Company is also called upon to submit fortnightly reports and updates on the implementation of the activities to NEPA.
WINDALCO may appeal the Notices within 28 days of the effective date. Failure to comply with the Notices may result in prosecution.