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US$1-Million Being Spent To Remedy Dust Nuisance in St. Elizabeth

One million US dollars is being spent to remedy the dust nuisance affecting some ten communities in and around the Alpart bauxite plant in St. Elizabeth.

The announcement was made by Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz who has responsibility for the Environment.

Minister Vaz and several other stakeholders met with the company yesterday.

JISCO also gave several commitments to address other legacy issues it inherited at the bauxite plant.

The visit by Minister Vaz follows weeks of heavy dusting in the nearby communities- the worst of it many say was experienced between late December and January.

The Minister and several stakeholders met with JISCO yesterday to discuss the ongoing issue.

Coming out of the meeting JISCO has reversed its position that it wouldn’t be compensating the residents who were affected by the ‘dust events.’

Minister Vaz informed at a press conference in St. Elizabeth yesterday that some 40-million dollars will be paid out to residents starting today.

JISCO will be compensating for what’s described as a ‘dust event’ in December and another in January.

The company has also indicated it will increase the number of communication relations officers in Nain from two to four.

JISCO will be looking at how they can increase water supply to residents whose water has been contaminated.

The company wants to increase the number of doctors it engages to see persons who’ve suffered health challenges.

Meanwhile, Minister Vaz says the company is investing over a million US dollars to implement measures that will help to suppress dust from the mudlake.

He says several materials are already on the island.

And JISCO has committed to enhancing its legal department to address the legacy issue of outstanding land titles and relocation.

Over 13-hundred land titles are still outstanding.

The Minister also says he’ll be seeking an update on the progress of relocation for other citizens.

Over 1-hundred residents are yet to be relocated.

Minister Vaz says the National Environment and Planning Agency, NEPA, and others are expected to provide weekly reports on JISCO’s actions.

The Minister says he has also instructed NEPA and the other agencies to monitor almost daily the situation on the ground.

Daryl Vaz, Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for the Environment.

JISCO Assistant Managing Director Sun Jing says the company is committed to the development of the the plant and putting a long term fix on the dust nuisance from the mudlake.

Sun Jing, JISCO Assistant Managing Director.

He was speaking at a media conference yesterday in St. Elizabeth to address issues regarding the Alpart mudlake.

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