NEPA steps in


NEPA steps in

Agency serves cessation order on developer of planned gas station near residential area

Observer writer

Saturday, February 29, 2020

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The developer of a proposed gas station at the intersection of Villa and deCarteret roads here has been ordered to cease construction, pending the issuance of an environmental permit following Thursday's Jamaica Observer front page article.

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) yesterday issued a cessation order to Miguel Smith of Malvern District in St Elizabeth, one day after the Jamaica Observer highlighted the concerns of the residents who say the planned petrol station would be too close to their homes.

An employee of NEPA was yesterday observed placing the cessation order on zinc used to fence the construction site.

The cessation order reads: “Whereas you are undertaking an activity in respect of which a permit is required in accordance with the National Resources Conservation Authority [NRCA] Act, namely: construction and operation of petroleum storage and dispensing facility at Villa Road, Manchester, and whereas you have failed to obtain the required permit, the [NRCA] hereby orders that upon the effective date of the notice you immediately cease the activity specified herein until an environmental permit is issued.”

The cessation order, signed by NEPA's CEO Peter Knight, said “Failure to cease the activity forthwith constitutes a breach of the National Resources Conservation Authority Act, and you may be liable to prosecution without further notice to you.”

Residents of 53 deCarteret Road had written to NEPA, objecting to the construction of the gas station. Their objection preceded the February 21 fire at the Heaven's Fesco gas station here, which resulted in the death of 59-year-old mechanic Daniel Farquharson and left others injured. Three of the injured have remain hospitalised.

The massive blaze also caused damage to 12 vehicles and a section of the gas station.

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