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Ferreira: Govt close to finalizing bill creating separate environment ministry

The Ministry of the Environment and Housing is close to finalizing a bill that will usher in a separate Ministry of the Environment that incorporates strands of environmental policies that exist under other ministries, as steps are taken to remediate environmental hazards at the New Providence Landfill and Clifton.

Minister of Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreira said in his contribution to the House of Assembly last week that it was the Free National Movement’s intention to create a separate Ministry of Environment as explained in its manifesto. He added that after receipt of comments on the bill, it will be submitted for Cabinet’s approval.

Ferreira also said last week that four of the seven companies that have made it through to the second round in a bid to remediate and operate the New Providence Landfill have paid their $10,000 registration fee. Those participating companies are WTP Limited, Bahamas Waste, Waste Resources Development Group and its financial partner, Providence Advisors; and Apapa International (Nassau) Limited.

“A pre-bid meeting was held at the Department of Environmental Health Services on February 27, and submissions are due on April 9th, 2018,” he said.

“As you are aware, the Ministry of the Environment and Housing issued an expression of interest for the potential investment and management services related to the deconstruction, remediation and operation of the New Providence sanitary landfill. Seven companies were shortlisted, and each were invited to participate in the RFP (request for proposal) process. Of the seven shortlisted companies, four companies have paid the $10,000 registration fee and are now completing their bids.”

Ferreira added in his contribution that a retaining wall has been constructed to stop the flow of oil into the ocean at Clifton from Bahamas Power and Light’s generation station. He said the next step is to design a remediation system, which is now being considered, following the studies of a company which was tasked with characterizing the product found seeping into the ocean at Clifton.

“You are all aware of the situation at Clifton,” Ferreira said.

“Oil product has been seeping into the ground and ocean for years. The product at the Clifton power station grounds remain a priority of this government to remediate. The government is committed to cleaning up Clifton and is working with our partners to ensure it is done.”

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