PNP calls for Holness to explain stance on Dry Harbour Mountain development

PNP calls for Holness to explain stance on Dry Harbour Mountain development

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— People's National Party (PNP) spokesperson on Land and Housing, Senator Sophia Frazer, says Prime Minister Andrew Holness must address his reversal of the decision by the National Environment and Planning Agency not to allow mining in the Dry Harbour Mountains.

According to a statement from the PNP, Frazer-Binns and spokesman on Mining and Energy, Phillip Paulwell, met with a group of stakeholders from the Bengal area in St Ann, where the mining is slated to take place.

According to the PNP, several concerns were raised by the residents that require that Holness, “put a hold on any activity until an amicable resolution is reached.”

The PNP said the stakeholders want the prime minister to tell the country:

• Which minster heard the appeal?

• Who are the persons/ entities that appeared at the appeal?

• What factors were considered in making the decision?

• When was the decision made?

Paulwell said that “while we respect the legal right of persons to use their private property, this must be done in a way that does not cause harm or create a nuisance or negatively affect the life, well-being, property and safety of other citizens.”

“Any Government which allows a private citizen to use his property in a way that is harmful to others or the environment is irresponsible,” he added.

The PNP said in addition to the devastating effects on the environment, a proposal that would allow over 200 trucks in the area daily as part of the operation is extremely concerning.

“The damage from noise pollution, dust pollution, deforestation, the depletion of our flora and fauna and our natural resources and the aquifer, will be long lasting and irreparable,” the PNP's statement said.

Both Frazer-Binns and Paulwell noted that the Constitution states that every citizen has a right to a clean environment.

“We support the effort to expand our economy, but this must never be at a cost to the health of our people and the destruction of the environment,” the statement read.

“Our people have a right to a clean environment and good health. The Opposition is resolute in this belief and will explore all options in an effort to protect our people and the environment,” it added.

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