Legislative Approach Controlling Water Pollution Industrial Sources

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Legislative Approach Controlling Water Pollution Industrial Sources: Comparison of Trinidad Tobago European Union (EU) and the United States

The objective of this study is to compare legislative controls of water pollution by industrial sources in Trinidad and Tobago as compared to those in the United States.

Trinidad and Tobago

Environmental degradation in Trinidad and Tobago is reported to have "historical roots that are not too dissimilar from those in the reset of the world largely attributed toe economic growth and the development and growth of human population." (Emergency Management Association, 2005) This environmental degradation in Trinidad has been due to heavy industrial development and in Trinidad due to tourism development. Trinidad and Tobago both experience "much of the full range of environmental problems, from widespread pollution of its waterways and near shore waters to air pollution, chemical spills, illegal dumping, deforestation, fisheries and wildlife depletion.' (Emergency Management Association, 2005)

The Environmental Management Act No. 3 of 2000 is reported to "describe the approach to pollution management in all environmental media" including air, water and land while the Environmental Management Authority "has chosen water pollution as the area that requires immediate attention." (Emergency Management Association, 2005) It is reported that previous studies conducted to assess watershed degradation, land use and watershed management have found the following factors to be responsible for the degradation of the watershed in Trinidad and Tobago:

(1) Indiscriminate clearing and degradation of forests for housing and urban development, shifting cultivation and squatting;

(2) Loss of forest and protective vegetation cover by forest and bush fires;

(3) Quarrying operations and road construction on steep slopes; and (4) Cultivation on steep slopes, without application of appropriate soil conservation measures. (Emergency Management Association, 2005)

It is reported that the 'Act' sets out a "systematic sequence of requirement for effective management of all pollution in all environmental media. In the water medium, the requirements of the Act as they are defined in Section 52 and which are mandatory on the Authority are stated as follows:

(1) Ascertain the extent, character, and sources of water pollution in Trinidad and Tobago;

(2) Develop a rule which lists water pollutants defining them by their quantity, condition or concentration; and (3) Develop and implement a programme for the management of water pollution, which shall include registration of significant sources of water pollutants. (Emergency Management Association, 2005)

It is reported that Section 53(1) of the Act may make a requirement that the Authority grant permits as part of a water pollution control program. The requirements of the Act can be understood through the following four documents:

UMA Environmental, (1997) Technical Background Paper for Parameters in Water Effluents. Prepared for the EMA with assistance from the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), October 1, 1997. In 1997, the Authority contracted UMA Environmental to conduct a study entitled Technical Background Paper for Parameters in Water Effluents. The objective of this study was to provide recommendations and the supporting rationale for limits on pollutants in industrial effluent in Trinidad and Tobago. The study report included the following: (1) An overview of the industrial and environmental profile for Trinidad and Tobago, including an assessment of the quantity and character of liquid effluents; (2) A discussion of pollution prevention opportunities and control technologies; (3) A cost/benefit analysis of implementing standards; and (4) Recommendations for effluent limits and monitoring and reporting requirements. (Emergency Management Association, 2005)

TTS 547:1998. Trinidad and Tobago Standard. Specification for the Effluent from Industrial Processes Discharged into the Environment. Published by Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS). It is reported that the study was also to be utilized by the Authority as a contributor to the discussion of the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS), Specifications Committee on Liquid Effluent from Industrial Processes into the Environment. The Trinidad and Tobago Standards was declared on March 5, 1998. The standard is reported to have been accomplished following deliberation by the committee. The standard sets the maximum permissible limits for discharge of parameters in industrial effluents into four categories as follows: (1) inland surface waters; (2) coastal…[continue]

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