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Fwd: Bahía under fire again - Gleaner

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  • Potter at Island Resources
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    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2007
      >From: "NJCA" <NJCA@...>
      >To: "NJCA" <NJCA@...>
      >Subject: Bahía under fire again - Gleaner
      >Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 09:00:48 -0500
      >Organization: NJCA
      >
      >In case you missed this in the Sunday GleanerŠ
      >
      >Bahía under fire again - WRA, NEPA threaten to
      >take action against hotel for more breaches
      >
      >published: Sunday | April 29, 2007
      ><http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070429/lead/lead6.html>
      >http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070429/lead/lead6.html
      >
      >Photo caption: A view of the
      ><http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070429/lead/lead6.html>swimming
      >pool and a section of the rooms at the Bahia
      >Prncipe Hotel in Pear Tree Bottom, St. Ann. The
      >Water Resources Authority and the National
      >Environmental and Planning Agency have accused
      >the
      ><http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070429/lead/lead6.html>hotel's
      >management of environmental breaches. - File
      >
      >Gareth Manning, Sunday Gleaner Reporter
      >
      >The Water Resources Authority (WRA) is proposing
      >that enforcement action be taken against the
      >Baha Prncipe Hotel yet again.
      >This time around, the hotel is coming under fire
      >for breaches of sewage permits it was granted by
      >the water authority and the National Environment
      >and Planning Agency (NEPA).
      >
      >This is the second time the hotel has been found
      >to breach guidelines governing the establishment
      >of its waste water treatment system. In December
      >of last year, the WRA issued a stop order on
      >work on the system after the property managers,
      >Hoteles
      ><http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070429/lead/lead6.html>Jamaica
      >de Piero (HOJAPI) Limited started construction
      >of the system without a permit. They were
      >subsequently granted a permit after a design of
      >the treatment system was submitted and
      >developers agreed to abide by the terms of the
      >permit.
      >
      >But according to the WRA in a report dated March
      >28 this year, a visit to the hotel site in Pear
      >Tree Bottom, St. Ann, by a team from the
      >Ministry of Health, the parish council, the WRA
      >and NEPA, uncovered evidence that the hotel had
      >in fact contravened the terms of its permits for
      >the sewage treatment facility.
      >
      >The investigation, which was prompted by
      >complaints from residents that a foul odour was
      >coming from the property and that sewage was
      >contaminating water sources, unearthed that
      >design changes had been made to the treatment
      >plant without the knowledge or approval of any
      >of the regulatory agencies, resulting in
      >effluent not meeting the required standard set
      >out by its NEPA licence.
      >
      >"The poor effluent quality was not being used to
      >irrigate green areas, but was constantly being
      >disposed of into the deep-injection well in
      >breach of both NEPA's and the WRA's licences.
      >The WRA proposes to issue an enforcement notice
      >against Baha Prncipe," said the water agency in
      >a letter to NEPA on April 3.
      >
      >Not enough green space
      >
      >The deep-injection well, the agency says, was to
      >be used to catch
      ><http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070429/lead/lead6.html>waste
      >water during periods of excessive rainfall.
      >During dry periods and periods of moderate
      >weather, however, the permit indicates that the
      >effluent should be used for irrigation of green
      >areas on the property. But the visit to the site
      >showed there was not enough green space on the
      >property for complete use of the effluent by way
      >of irrigation, hence, excess waste water was run
      >off into the wells.
      >
      >Furthermore, the investigative team also found
      >that the effluent contained grease due to a
      >discharge from the hotel's kitchen. The grease
      >killed bacteria that were vital to the
      >functioning of the treatment plant, forcing the
      >property mangers to bring in bacteria from the
      >RIU hotel to restart the treatment process.
      >Chlorination of the system was also poor, the
      >WRA pointed out in the report.
      >The investigative team raised questions about
      >the general effectiveness of the entire
      >treatment system due to what seemed to be
      >problems with the plant to handle incoming
      >volumes of waste water because of the changes
      >made to the original design. "It was noted that
      >no flow- measuring device installed along the
      >inlet works. This is a critical piece of
      >equipment allowing for better monitoring of the
      >facility," the report says.
      >
      >The permit for the injection well asked for a
      >measuring device along the pipeline leading to
      >the injection well. In the absence of this
      >device, the regulatory agencies would have no
      >control on the volume discharged into the
      >injection well."
      >No new design report was submitted to any of the
      >regulatory agencies, the report states.
      >
      >Report
      >
      >Mr. Toms, a waste water engineer from Mexico,
      >representing the hotel management, and who
      >toured the site with the investigating team,
      >said a report would be submitted to he
      >regulatory agencies. But according to the WRA
      >report, Mr. Toms seemed unable or unwilling to
      >communicate in English. The WRA asked that a
      >report be submitted by April 16. To date, a
      >report has not been submitted, The Sunday
      >Gleaner understands.
      >
      >"There seems to be an unwillingness on the part
      >of the hotel to provide information in a timely
      >fashion and adhere to the permits, licences and
      >regulations as required under the laws of
      >Jamaica," the agency said in its letter to NEPA.
      >In a stern letter to the hotel's controlling
      >company, Hoteles Jamaica de Piero (HOJAPI)
      >Limited, the WRA warned the hotel that its
      >failure to abide by the terms of its permit
      >would result in closure of its current
      >waste-treatment system. It also called on NEPA
      >and the Ministry of Health to step up monitoring
      >of the hotel and to take enforcement action
      >against it for breaching its permit in order to
      >avoid contamination of the environment.
      >
      >No action has been taken yet by the regulatory agencies.
      >
      >
      >Northern Jamaica Conservation Association
      >PO Box 212, Runaway Bay, St. Ann
      >JAMAICA, W.I.
      >Tel: 876-973-4305
      >Fax: 876-973-5678
      >E-mail: <mailto:NJCA@...>NJCA@...
      >


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