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Wheatley wants NRCA board sacked for approving of Negril breakwater project

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 | 6:54 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Opposition Spokesman on the Environment, Dr Andrew Wheatley, has called for the sacking of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority’s (NRCA) board of directors following an announcement that they granted approval for two “highly controversial” off-shore breakwaters to be built in the Long Bay area of Negril, Westmoreland.

The NRCA board is chaired by former People’s National Party’s (PNP) MP, John Junor and comprises directors including Dr Carol Archer and PNP Councillor Kari Douglas.

According to Wheatley, the NRCA Board’s decision runs counter to its mandate, which is to provide for the management, conservation and protection of the natural resources of Jamaica. He noted that the NRCA did not sufficiently take into account the views of members of the Negril community and experts here and overseas who have “consistently, loudly and factually” rubbished the breakwater proposal.

He said beyond that, Negril stakeholders have put forward serious proposals that are less expensive, more effective and environmentally friendly.

Wheatley, in a release Tuesday afternoon, restated the Opposition’s position that beach nourishment is the preferred approach to rehabilitating the Negril shoreline. The Opposition spokesman said he has no choice but to “seriously question the government’s motives in its mad rush to pursue what is a dubious, risky and very expensive plan.”

He said that among his main concerns are the absence of a comprehensive Economic Impact study into the effects of pursuing the highly technical and disruptive project that the Government says will run for several months.

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