Dec 10, 2013 News
– plans afoot to boost EPA
Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Robert Persaud has given the charge to residents to ensure that their communities are clean and report persons who are bent on littering. The minister made the call on Friday last whilst delivering the feature address to stakeholders who had attended an environment symposium.
According to Persaud, while the country awaits the holding of Local Government elections, community groups need to take action immediately at the local level to deal with the issue of garbage.
The minister opined that community groups and associations need to get involved and to take back communities in that regard. The minister also said that these groups, associations and even the residents should “name and shame” persons who are bent on littering.
Persaud reiterated that everyone has a role to play in erasing the shame and fixing the problem. In this regard, he explained the need for citizens to change their attitude, given the fact that most persons are guilty of dumping waste indiscriminately.
Further, Persaud agreed that the solid waste issue is one which requires a very integrated and holistic approach. He explained in detail the steps which his Ministry has taken in tackling the problem. These include strengthening legislation, toughening enforcement and prosecuting persons.
Moreover, Persaud said that they would also be boosting the Environmental Protection Agency to help fight the problem of litter. According to the minister, the whole emphasis of this move is to create an air and water quality unit in the EPA.
He said that the requisite laboratory to do testing for mercury, water contamination and air quality will be established, adding that this would be a new division in the EPA. According to Persaud, they are currently working along with KFW, a German government-owned development bank, based in Frankfurt to develop the enforcement regulations. He explained that the primary regulations are in place but there are some weaknesses in the subsidiaries, which would be looked at.
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