By Robert A. Emmanuel
The head of analytical services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Linroy Christian, will head a working group established by the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda to evaluate the current level of air quality in government buildings.
During the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing on Thursday morning, Information Minister Melford Nicholas said the working group will also include officials from the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Health, and the Development Control Authority (DCA).
According to the Minister, the group “will work towards conducting certain tests and evaluations across the whole spectrum of buildings, whether they are owned by the government or leased by a landlord, to ensure that basic standards are met.”
Minister Nicholas added that although the working group will not evaluate private businesses at the moment, they will be held to the same standards as amended in the Physical Planning Act.
“Ultimately, the intention is to ensure that it [air quality regulation] is the national standard which everyone will have to observe …. But, in the initial phase, we would need to have a more reasonable approach towards this issue … if we gave more than it could truly chew, it could become ineffective,” Nicholas said.
According to its notes, Cabinet agreed to amend the Physical Planning Act to ensure certain designs, maintenance schedules and proper materials are utilised when installing air conditioning systems in buildings.
Additionally, a timeframe will be included to allow landlords sufficient time to fix the issues.