Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod, wants his Ministry to urgently address environmental issues and other activities that create nuisances and health risks for the public, such as noise pollution.
Mr. Prescod expressed this wish while speaking at the opening ceremony of a four-day training seminar on Community Noise Enforcement, at the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), at the LV Harcourt Lewis Building.
He referenced the remarks by EPD’s Acting Director, Anthony Headley, in which it was noted that though the definition of “noise” was subjective, it did not negate the significant impact noise pollution could have on an individual.
The effects, Mr. Headley had pointed out, could range from disruptive sleep, to learning developmental issues in youth, to raised blood pressure, to temporary or permanent hearing loss.
The Minister gave the assurance that despite the lack of legislative development since Cabinet approved the National Noise Policy in 2007, Government was committed to developing measures to address noise pollution through the implementation of “easily enforceable techniques such as curbing the operation of noisy equipment in residential communities during specific periods”.
This, Mr. Prescod explained, would be done through the appropriate legislative framework, taking into account the interests of all stakeholders “in a balanced and transparent manner”.
Facilitator of the training, Eric Zwerling, of the Rutgers Noise Technical Assistance Centre in New Jersey, said its main goal was to fully inform participants on how noise affects everyone, how it is measured; on conducting assessments; outlining the requirements for enforcement; and developing noise legislation which was simple, easily understood and enforceable.
Participants will also review planning and zoning applications to proactively reduce potential problems from arising in the future, while still allowing for vibrant economic activity to occur.
The training seminar is a collaboration between EPD and the Training Administration Division.