Government has announced it will be taking further steps to ensure environmental compliance at major development sites.
This follows a request from the Department of Environment for a stop order to be issued on the Peace, Love and Happiness project at Palmetto Point in Barbuda, citing several breaches.
Information Minister Melford Nicholas told media this morning that the government will be mandating a permanent presence at development sites to ensure developers stick to the terms of approval.
“The Cabinet did note the concerns raised by the Department of the Environment and now the Development Control Authority has been given the issue to consider. The Cabinet obviously made some further observations with what seems to be a pattern with these larger development projects. There seems to be a gap in the way we manage them from a monitoring standpoint and going forward the Cabinet has asked the minister responsible for the environment that there is a full-time person allocated to the monitoring and management of the project in Barbuda,” Nicholas explained.
Nicholas also noted similar occurrences in the past and said this action should go some way in preventing future incidents.
He confirmed that the adjustment will not only be for the PLH project, but will extend to all major developments in the country.
A PLH spokesman told Observer that the company had been alerted during a recent site visit by its environmental consultant and a representative from the Ministry of Environment that two separate areas of the project had been impacted by “earth moving”.
“The areas impacted represent less than one percent of the development area, and include a mitigation wetland constructed by PLH Barbuda as well as a dune. No natural wetlands were impacted,” he said, adding that “immediate action” had been taken to improve the company’s procedures.