Reddy notes prohibition notices issued for environmental breaches

Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy. Picture: FT FILE/RAMA

FIJI’S Department of Environment issued 147 permits and 10 prohibition notices for breaches under the Environmental Management Act 2005 and the Environmental Management Waste Disposal and Recycling Regulations 2007 in the last financial year.

Three of these notices, he said were for breaching the conditions of waste disposal permits issued by the department while seven were for illegal dumping.

Minister for Environment and Waterways Dr Mahendra Reddy released these figures in Parliament last week.

The department regulates waste discharges, disposals and emissions from all commercial facilities in the country pursuant to Part 5 of the Environmental Management Act 2005.

He said every commercial facility operations was required to hold a valid disposal permit with conditions from the Department of Environment.

He noted there were several waste disposal permits issued by the department, depending on the nature of the operation of the facility.

“We have obtained the list of hotels and other industrial operations from FRCS, and we are now matching that with our list to see who all carry a waste disposal permit and who does not,” Mr Reddy said.

“The audit exercise even revealed a particular group of business operators, around 90 per cent of them do not carry a waste disposal permit. We have met them and they argued that they have a valid licence to operate their business.

“Are they at fault? Well, there was a disconnect between the department offering business licences and the department offering waste permits back then when these operations started.

“So what do we do? Do we go and close those operations down? Certainly not, we go and work with them to ensure they are now putting all the requirements in place.

“If they do not have them in place, we offer them a permit. That is the way to go – the department is a facilitator and a regulator.”

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