Monday 9 December, 2019

EMA: New water pollution rules and fees in effect

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) said the new Water Pollution Rules, 2019 (WPR) and the Water Pollution (Fees) Regulation, 2019, are now in effect.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the EMA said the revision is part of an effort to bring a more integrated approach to water pollution. 

The WPR was first introduced in 2007 as a requirement of the Environmental Management (EM) Act Chap. 35:05 to develop and execute programmes for the control and management of point and non-point sources of water pollution.

"This revision which comes after 11 years of implementation is geared towards closing the gap that presently exists in the application of modern-day principles of equity, environmental justice and the internalization of costs by polluters. As such the fee structure ensures compliance with the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP), and provides a more integrated approach to water pollution and watershed management," the EMA said. 

Minister of Planning and Development Camille Robinson-Regis said the amended WPR 2019 is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), core principles of the National Environmental Policy (NEP) (2018), and national policies and commitments on the environment enshrined in Vision 2030.

Robinson-Regis added that the passage of the Environmental Management (Beverage Container) Regulations and the Waste Rules, is also part of government’s commitment to Theme 5 of Vision 2030, and is scheduled to take place soon.

Minister Robinson–Regis said these amendments which include increases in fees and penalties illustrate the EMA’s thrust to institute stiffer penalties for offences against the environment.

In 2018, the fine for hunting/poaching the Scarlet Ibis increased to $100,000 on designation as an Environmentally Sensitive Species (ESS). Additionally, the EMA is currently engaged in updating fees and penalties prescribed in its suite of legislation to make them more effective.

For additional information, the EMA invites members of the public and organisations to visit its website at www.ema.co.tt. or contact our offices at 226 4EMA ext. 2221.

Also, a targeted awareness campaign will be rolled out in the coming weeks to provide details to the public on the benefits and responsibilities that come with the passage of this new regulatory regime.

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