EPA investigating 2,500 nuisance complaints in residential areas
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received approximately 2, 500 complaints for the year thus far, according to Head of the Environmental Complaints Unit, Surijpaul Singh.
He said the majority of those complaints were from the coastline, particularly Region Four.
Singh explained to the News Room on Wednesday that it includes odour nuisances from poultry and livestock rearing along with dust and fumes from furniture and spray-painting workshops.
The complaints also extend to the usual poor waste management issues.
The EPA official said that in the past, several complaints which were received by varying department heads were never addressed since there was no dedicated unit to do so.
As a result, a backlog of more than 4,000 complaints have passed on from the last three years. And this does not auger well for the small unit with over 20 complaints being logged every day.
“We work with these operators because we know that most times these complaints, they are within residential areas, right and they do affect persons living around and what we try to do is to give them interim measures and these measures are basically practical and cost-effective,” Singh explained.
On some occasions, the EPA is forced to issue “notice letters to big businesses” that fail to adhere to the guidelines and safeguards. And if forced, the EPA would move to shut down the businesses.
The EPA official explained that for the year, only three notices were issued as a result of the list of complaints; this was seen as a win since it showed that businesses were operating in a more environmentally conscious way.
Singh said the EPA will ramp up its awareness campaign to ensure that citizens are aware of the environmental breaches outlined in the EPA’s Act and how to prevent them.