February 14, 2012
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is advising industries, construction companies, residents and the public at large to cease all open burning activities in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA), St. Andrew and St. Catherine with immediate effect.
This advisory is being made in light of the recent fire at the Riverton City Disposal Site and the impact on ambient air quality.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) are finalizing containment activities to reduce the smoke nuisance which will allow for improvement in the air quality.
The public is therefore being asked, as a measure of goodwill, not to burn household garbage, construction debris, tyres, plastics or any other materials as a means of disposal in the KMA/St. Andrew and St. Catherine. This is expected to aid the rapid improvement in the air quality in these areas.
The public should be reminded that open burning, without permission, is an illegal activity and is prohibited under the Country Fires Act and the Public Health (Nuisance) Regulations. If caught, the penalty is a maximum $50,000 in the Resident Magistrates Court.
Cases of burning may be reported to Local Public Health Departments or the Jamaica Fire Brigade.