|Listen to Live Jamaican Radio, Listen to Power 106 FM 24x7. Click Here to Listen Free | (Advertisement)|
Gov't lacks capacity to monitor air quality, says Pickersgill
2012-04-01 16:17:13 | (0 Comments)
Declaring that there is nothing to hide pertaining to investigations into the recent fire at the Riverton landfill, the minister responsible for the environment says the government lacks the capacity to adequately assess air quality levels.
Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill
Speaking on Friday at a meeting with members of the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition and the Jamaica Environment Trust on a number of issues surrounding the fire at the Riverton landfill, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill said that the response to contain and extinguish the fire was swift, but the response teams were challenged in overcoming the fires due to many factors.
“It is a fact that regulatory agencies were challenged. The assessment of air quality presents major challenges. The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) operate four ambient air quality monitoring stations in the corporate area. The station collects monitoring data routinely but were not deployed to measure air quality specifically for a fire from the disposal site,” Mr Pickersgill revealed.
Further, Minister Pickersgill said the deployment of additional monitoring station during the fire was hampered due to “sheer inadequate numbers of stations, malfunctioning pieces of equipment and inadequate capacity in the private sector.”
He added that “generally, the capacity is to test for particulate matter (PM10), sulphur dioxide (So2) and nitrogen dioxide (Nox). I am advised that these are good criteria air quality indicators but there is need for capacity in testing for other pollutant, generally referred to as volatile organic compounds.”
As a result, the minister said $80 million will be required to install routine monitoring stations in high population areas such as Spanish Town, May Pen, Mandeville, Montego Bay, Portmore and additional sites in the Kingston Metropolitan Region.
Another $20 million to $100 million will be needed to build sanitary landfills in the long term, Mr Pickersgill said.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gleaner. The Gleaner reserves the right not to publish comments that may be deemed libelous, derogatory or indecent. To respond to The Gleaner please use the feedback form.
Go- Jamaica: Home | Business Directory | Jobsmart | Chat | Gallery | Videos | Events