Data source
Date of text
06 Jul 2010
Original language


Type of text
National - higher court
Court name
Supreme Court of Judicature of Jamaica
Effluent waste, environmental standard

The residents and an environmental lobby group filed a judicial review action, seeking declarations that the Kingston and St Andrew Health Department, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) had failed to carry out their statutory duty. They also sought a court order for the Harbour View Sewage Treatment Plant, a problematic plant which threatens public health, to be fixed and the beach cleaned. The sewage plant has not been working for more than 30 years, resulting in partially and untreated sewage flowing onto the land and into the sea.
The consent order states that the Kingston and Andrew Health Department had "acted in excess of its powers under the provisions of section four of the Public Health (Nuisance) Regulations, in first giving the NWC by its Notice of February 13, 2009 six months to abate the discharge of untreated and/or partially treated sewage into the sea and on to land and the beach; and secondly, in extending the period to abate said nuisance by a further six months". At the same time, the judgement prescribes that the NWC: Take all necessary steps to prevent the release of untreated and/or partially treated sewage effluent into the sea and on to land and the beach from its sewage plant in Harbour View; Take all necessary steps to clean up and repair the damage done to the environment consequent on the over 25 years of discharge of untreated and/or partially treated sewage from its sewage treatment plant in Harbour View; Submit an application to NEPA and the NRCA for the relevant permits and licences, including a construction permit and a discharge licence; and construct, operate and maintain a sewage collection and treatment facility capable of managing the volume of sewage effluent by the communities which are intended to be served by its sewage plant in Harbour View. NWC, meanwhile, is also to, within six months of the relevant approvals, construct a partial interim facility in the community which meets an interim effluent standard set by NEPA and the NRCA until a new sewage plant is up and running. The NWC is also to provide a progress report on its efforts while providing a guided tour to the claimants — notably JET and a community representative — every 42 days during the construction of the interim facility with the first tour to take place on August 18. Thereafter, a guided tour is to be provided every 90 days.