Harsher penalties coming soon for those responsible for pollution incidents; Gov’t remains committed to updating legislation

Environment Minister, Senator Matthew Samuda says a bipartisan agreement is already in place to update legislation relating to the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA) and the Wildlife Protection Acts.

This is amid renewed calls for harsher penalties for persons responsible for pollution incidents and subsequent fish kills in the Rio Cobre, in St Catherine.

The matter has again come to the fore, following a minor fish kill on Friday night.

Speaking with IRIE FM news, Senator Samuda again acknowledged that the current penalties for breaches are too small.

Persons who fail to comply with the NCRA Act can be fined up to $50,000 or face 12 months imprisonment.

Meanwhile, a fine of up to $100,000 or 12 months imprisonment can be levied against those who breach the Wildlife Protect Act.

Mr. Samuda says legal processes are being undertaken to raise the penalty threshold soon.

There have been calls for the penalties to be increased to at least $5 million.


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