News

Windalco slapped with enforcement notice over fish kill

By PETRE WILLIAMS-RAYNOR

Thursday, July 19, 2012 | 4:07 PM    

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WEST Indies Alumina Company (Windalco) has been slapped with an enforcement notice by the environmental authorities, following a July 15 fish kill at the Rio Cobre in St Catherine.

The notice was served earlier today by the National Environment and Planning Agency’s head of legal services and enforcement, Robert Collie.

Among other things, the notice, the attorney said, requires that the company — which has been in the news lately over reports it may be closing:

• Stop the polluting activity;

• Make arrangements to deal with community relations for those areas affected by the emergency event;

• Effect immediate rehabilitation of the areas affected by the discharge; and

• Submit a compliance plan to prevent any future spills.

On July 15, some 62,500 gallons of untreated trade effluent was reportedly released into the Pleasant Farm Gully from the company’s Ewarton facility, causing the pollution of the river and a fish kill.

Contacted by the Jamaica Observer, the company refused comment on the matter.

Windalco is, meanwhile, currently before the courts in relation to last year’s fish kill, also at the Rio Cobre. They face charges for breaching the Wildlife Protection Act and the Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act. The matter is set for trial on November 19 in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate’s Court.

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