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New water pollution rules take effect

T&T Guardian



The amend­ed Wa­ter Pol­lu­tion Rules (WPR), 2019 and the Wa­ter Pol­lu­tion (Fees) Reg­u­la­tion 2019, are in ef­fect.

Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Camille Robin­son-Reg­is in a state­ment said the pri­ma­ry goal of the WPR is to get in­dus­tries in T&T to re­duce the lev­els of wa­ter pol­lu­tants in their ef­flu­ent (point-source dis­charges), there­by im­prov­ing the over­all qual­i­ty of in­land and coastal wa­ter re­sources.

The new rules will con­tribute to a full suite of ac­tiv­i­ties and up­com­ing leg­is­la­tion by Gov­ern­ment geared to­wards man­ag­ing the use of the coun­try’s en­vi­ron­men­tal re­sources. Through these new rules, pol­luters will be held more ac­count­able for their ac­tions.

Robin­son-Reg­is not­ed that the amend­ed rules are aligned to the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDGs), core prin­ci­ples of the Na­tion­al En­vi­ron­men­tal Pol­i­cy (2018), and na­tion­al poli­cies and com­mit­ments on the en­vi­ron­ment.

The WPR was first in­tro­duced in 2007 as a re­quire­ment of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment (EM) Act Chap. 35:05 to de­vel­op and ex­e­cute pro­grammes for the con­trol and man­age­ment of point and non-point sources of wa­ter pol­lu­tion.

This re­vi­sion which comes af­ter 11 years of im­ple­men­ta­tion is geared to­wards clos­ing the gap that present­ly ex­ists in the ap­pli­ca­tion of mod­ern day prin­ci­ples of eq­ui­ty, en­vi­ron­men­tal jus­tice and the in­ter­nal­iza­tion of costs by pol­luters.

As such the fee struc­ture en­sures com­pli­ance with the Pol­luter Pays Prin­ci­ple (PPP), and pro­vides a more in­te­grat­ed ap­proach to wa­ter pol­lu­tion and wa­ter­shed man­age­ment.

The Min­istry of Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment is al­so chair­ing a Na­tion­al Bio­di­ver­si­ty Strat­e­gy and Ac­tion Plan com­mit­ted to the man­age­ment of Trinidad and To­ba­go’s bi­o­log­i­cal re­sources.

A tar­get­ed pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign will be rolled out in the com­ing weeks to pro­vide de­tails on the ben­e­fits and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that come with the pas­sage of this new reg­u­la­to­ry regime.