February 18, 2011
The owners and operators of Hill Crest Villas, in Bengal, St. Ann will find themselves facing charges that may result in excess of three million Jamaican dollars fines and possible jail time when they face the St. Ann's Bay Resident Magistrate Court, on 28 February 2011. The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), assisted by the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF), served eight summonses against the property owners on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 for breaches of the Beach Control Act (BCA) 1956, Amended 2004 and the Wild Life Protection Act (WLPA).
Seven summonses were served under the BCA 1956, Amended 2004 and one under the WLPA. NEPA identified the breaches during monitoring exercises which were followed up with intensive investigations that led to the serving of the summonses. The breaches are as follows:
During the investigations, which began in February 2010, several actions were effected by NEPA to seek compliance by the owner and operator of Hill Crest Villas. The action prior to the serving of the summonses was an Enforcement Notice served on 24 January 2011.
Under the WLPA, the maximum fine is $100,000, while under the BCA 1956 the maximum fine per offence is $500,000, or one year in jail.