First Look

Update on Fire at Riverton City Solid Waste Dump

ODPEM | 2012-02-09 15:01:00

The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) in collaboration with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has now activated the Command and Control Centre at the NSWMA Headquarters in Half Way Tree. The Control and Command
Centre will further strengthen the coordination of response to address the operations of the fire at
the Riverton City Solid Waste Dump.

The agencies involved in the coordination includes the Jamaica Defense Force, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the National Environment and Planning Agency, the NSWMA, the National Water Commission, the National Works Agency, the Ministry of Health and the National Fire Brigade.

Ground command on site has been established since Tuesday February 7, 2012 and is being spearheaded by the Jamaica Fire Brigade. Additional resources have been sourced from private and public sectors and are currently being mobilized to the site in an effort to assist with the operations.

The estimated time of operations is as follows:

      • 72 hours- to bring fire under control and
      • 5 days for complete abatement of the smoke nuisance, total clean up and restoration.

NEPA will be providing periodic updates on the ambient air quality from 3 monitoring stations-Cross Roads, the Cement Company and Half Way Tree.

In addition, Dr. Sheila Campbell Forrester, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health is advising residents in the Corporate Area and sections of St. Catherine, particularly those residents living in the immediate vicinity of the Riverton Landfill, to take the necessary action to protect themselves until the fire and associated smoke from the Landfill is brought under control by the team of contractors engaged by the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).

Landfill fires emit a variety of pollutants that have the potential to affect the health of the persons exposed to the smoke. Affected persons may experience headache, dizziness, irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, coughing and other symptoms.

Residents are encouraged to:

         - Avoid or reduce exposure to smoke by closing windows and doors and remain indoors as
           much as possible. This is especially so for those persons who suffer from allergies,
           asthma and other respiratory conditions; the elderly and young.

        - Avoid exposing laundry outdoors since these can become contaminated and stained.

Further updates will be given as the situation demands.


Posted By :Kimberley Weller

Company Name : ODPEM

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