Black-Layne touts the importance of the Environment Division

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Chief Environment Officer Diann Black-Layne is highlighting the significance of her department in ensuring that environmental regulations are adhered to in Antigua & Barbuda.

She told OBSERVER media that her department is tasked with maintaining the country’s reputation as a good place to conduct business by ensuring that environmental standards are met.

Black-Layne said that international banking institutions rely on the local regulatory authority here to ensure that they accurately assess the risk of a project, as they must be assured that “the physical planning process and approval process for any project has integrity”.

If the local authority’s information proves to be consistently unreliable, Antigua & Barbuda could be listed as a high-risk area for investment and for loans to developers, she stressed.

The head of the environmental department said on a number of occasions, it has had to deal with several cases which have gone to court, most of which are environmental and boundary related.

Looking back on last year, Black-Layne said, “At the department, we have received a lot of complaints from people in 2016 and we’ve responded to about 75 per cent of them.”

She said they have visited these people in order to remedy their concerns. She anticipates that in 2017, the department will build on its successes, while it moves to implement new regulations and policies and highlight risks and make recommendations for mitigation of those hazards.

“Our job is to bring everybody together, listen to everything and then we make a recommendation to the physical planning department.”

In fact, Black-Layne told OBSERVER media that striking a balance between political interference and community safety with respect to overseeing developments in the country has been easy under the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) administration.

More in today’s Daily Observer.

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