The amended Water Pollution Rules (WPR), 2019 and the Water Pollution (Fees) Regulation 2019, are in effect.
Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis in a statement said the primary goal of the WPR is to get industries in T&T 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 rules will contribute to a full suite of activities and upcoming legislation by Government geared towards managing the use of the country’s environmental resources. Through these new rules, polluters will be held more accountable for their actions.
Robinson-Regis noted that the amended rules are aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), core principles of the National Environmental Policy (2018), and national policies and commitments on the environment.
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 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.