WINDALCO responds to concerns regarding Rio Cobre fish kill

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WINDALCO responds to concerns regarding Rio Cobre fish kill

Friday, October 18, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — West Indies Alumina Company (WINDALCO) today indicated that it continues to monitor its effluent holding pond to ensure that environmental standards are maintained, following a reported fish kill in the Rio Cobre in St Catherine on Tuesday.

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), which is investigating the matter, has reported that based on preliminary investigations, the fish kill was caused by an overflow of effluent from the bauxite firm during the recent heavy rains.

In a statement titled 'Spillage at Effluent Holding Pond', WINDALCO assured that it continues to implement all required measures to secure waterways from any kind of environmental impact through its Environmental Management Programme and established protocols.

"These includecreating a berm to retard the flow of effluent leaving the facility; testing to ensure that values are in line with the NRCA standards; flushing of streams with fresh water at several different locations; and maximising efforts to curtail the excursion itself from the holding pond,” the bauxite firm outlined.

The statement, which was issued this afternoon, follows an earlier announcement from Member of Parliament for North Central St Catherine, Natalie Neita, that she is moving to file a lawsuit on behalf of her constituents against the company.

Neita claimed that residents who live on the banks of the Rio Cobre have fallen ill after consuming fish or using water from the contaminated river and WINDALCO must be held accountable.

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