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EMA head gets tough on environmental abuse
New Chairman of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) Kelvin Ramnath says there is too much environmental abuse in T&T and he intends to address the matter. Ramnath received his instruments of appointment from Housing and the Environment Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal at the EMA’s head office, St Clair, on Thursday. In an interview yesterday, Ramnath, a former Member of Parliament, said he was qualified for the new job, having served on the board previously and also worked with environmental organisations internationally. He added: “There is evidence of undesirable behaviour in the country with respect to the environment. “There is evidence of environmental abuse and decay in the country and the EMA intends to do what it has to do to stop that state of affairs.” He said there were laws and standards in the country relating to the environment and those standards and laws must be adhered to. Ramnath said managers of industry would be given adequate time to ensure the required changes with respect to pollution and other environmental issues were implemented.
He made particular mention of noise pollution. Ramnath said while there must be fetes at Carnival, Emancipation and Divali “there must be respect for those who do not wish to engage in those events.”
He said while the EMA had no authority for the granting of licences for bars, the law regarding noise pollution must be complied with. He said there would be discussions aimed at reaching consensus with all stakeholders. Ramnath said the issue of indiscriminate quarrying also would get his attention. He said legislation would be amended in a few weeks to ensure that the practice was curtailed. Ramnath said the EMA had been given authority for ensuring all the surveillance bays were provided with solar energy. The surveillance bays are being established on the nation’s highways as a measure of reducing criminal activity on the roads of T&T. Meanwhile, staff at the EMA has congratulated Ramnath on his appointment.
In a release, EMA managing director/chief executive officer Dr Joth Singh said staff was excited about Ramnath’s appointment. He praised Ramnath for his role in developing effective Environmental Impact Assessments for Petrotrin and securing ISO 14001 Certification for the Exploration and Productive Division of the company. Singh said Ramnath’s experience and knowledge in those areas were relevant to the operations of the EMA. He said he was certain that would allow him to widely advise the organisation. Ramnath, a petroleum engineer by profession, has held several senior positions in the oil land gas industry, starting off at Texaco and then to Trintoc and Petrotrin. His career at Petrotrin covered a wide range of portfolios, including environmental adviser and manager of health, safety and the environment. He also served as president of Petrotrin.
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