Gov’t releases 72 conditions of permit for Bengal Development license

by November 20th, 2020

The government has released the 72 conditions of the permit for the Bengal Development license which gave permission for the company to quarry a section of the Dry Harbour Mountain in Discovery Bay St. Ann.

This follows concerns raised by the Jamaica Environment Trust, the Opposition and other stakeholders about the effects of quarrying on the environment.

It also comes, after Prime Minister Andrew Holness sought to defend the decision to grant approval for the mining, saying it was not taken lightly.

He said the mining in Dry Harbour would be strictly regulated and there would not be any adverse environmental effects, while assuring that if the agreement with Bengal Development is violated, he will ensure that the operation is terminated.

The 10 page document released by the Office of the Prime Minister today (November 20), says Bengal Development Limited is authorized to undertake quarrying of approximately 50 hectares of land for the extraction of limestone to be done in three phases, over several years.

The permit says the natural resources conservation authority may revoke or suspend the permit if there is a breach of any of the 72 conditions outlined within the permit.

Among the conditions outlined, is the requirement that Bengal will pay the National Environment and Planning Agency, NEPA, a sum of $4M for special monitoring in year one of the development.

The company is also required to establish a grievance framework, that should be circulated to all citizens’ associations in close proximity to the development.

As it relates to the protection of the Natural Environment, Bengal Development must submit a plan for the replacement of forest acreage that will be lost due to the mining, while ensuring that the forest outside of the approved area is not disturbed by the quarrying.

The company is also required to re-locate endemic, rare or threatened species prior to the commencement of, and during the mining or quarrying.

In addition, there are provisions for air quality, noise levels, proper signage, drainage and landslide mitigation, protection of water resources, and waste disposal.