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St. Catherine rep rejects US$771 thousand bond against Windalco

A community representative in St. Catherine has rejected the US$771 thousand environmental performance bond being sought against Windalco as woefully inadequate to compensate for the total losses suffered due to the chemical spill in the Rio Cobre.

Vice-Chairman of the St. Catherine Parish Development Committee, Kestonard Gordon, believes the bond should be increased and the National Environment and Planning Agency, NEPA, should not benefit from the drawdown.

NEPA announced on Friday its intention to draw down on the full amount of Windalco's environmental performance bond and suspend the company's environmental permit.

It confirmed that Windalco's bauxite refinery in Ewarton was the source of the recent effluent discharge which polluted the Rio Cobre.

Mr. Gordon argues that the performance bond should be higher and NEPA caused the breach to happen by not being more vigilant:

NEPA officials are scheduled to meet with representatives of WINDALCO today.

Meanwhile, CEO of Jamaica Environment Trust, Dr. Theresa Rodriguez-Moodie, is pushing for a revaluation of the environmental performance bond based on the significant damage that has been done.