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Minister lifts controversial order to bar sand removal from Negril

Environment Minister Robert Pickersgill has withdrawn a cessation order barring the removal of  sand from Negril for a major hotel development. The order was issued in the wake of controversy over the removal.
 
A statement last night from Mr. Pickersgill said the licence issued by the Mining Minister, on the recommendation of the Commissioner of  the Mines and the Geology Division is valid. It said the sand belongs to the developer and the required permits had been received.
 
In a subsequent interview with RJR News, John Junor, Chairman of  the Natural Resources and Conservation Authority (NRCA) , said a thorough investigation was carried out into the circumstances which led to the Environment Minister issuing the cessation notice. He disclosed that this was caused by, among other things, an administrative issue between NEPA and the Commissioner of  Mines.
     
Meanwhile, the Environment Ministry has announced that the NRCA and NEPA have been instructed to collaborate with the Quarry Advisory Committee and the Mines and Geology Division to streamline the coordination and approval processes. It said this will prevent any future misunderstanding.
   
The agreed framework is to be completed within one month and presented to Mr. Pickersgill and the Mining Ministry for sign-off. In addition, the Chief  Executive Officer of  NEPA and the Managing Director of  the Mines and Geology Division will lead the process to develop a national policy on beach sand.
 
The policy will include guidelines for importation as well as an accounting framework.
 
The first draft of  the policy should be produced in six months.


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