Water Pollution Rules 2019 to take effect

The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis would like to report for public information that the amended Water Pollution Rules, 2019 (WPR) and the Water Pollution (Fees) Regulation, 2019 are in effect.

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 primary goal of the WPR is to get industries in Trinidad and Tobago 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 Water Pollution Rules will contribute to a full suite of activities and upcoming legislation by Government geared towards managing the use of Trinidad and Tobago’s environmental resources.  Through these new rules, polluters will be held more accountable for their actions.

The Planning & Development Minister championed the amendments and noted that the amended WPR 2019 is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), core principles of the National Environmental Policy (NEP) (2018), and national policies and commitments on the environment enshrined in Trinidad and Tobago’s National Development Strategy, Vision 2030.

Minister Robinson-Regis asserts that this amendment and others such as the designation of the Scarlet Ibis as and Environmentally Sensitive Species (ESS) and the impending Environmental Management (Beverage Container) Regulations and the Waste Rules demonstrates Government’s commitment to Theme 5 of Vision 2030- Placing the environment at the center of social and economic development.  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.

For additional information, the EMA invites members of the public and organisations to visit its website at www.ema.co.tt. or contact our offices at 226 4EMA ext. 2221

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