BVI, Caribbeanand International News

Chief Planner accepts blame for street sewerage

Chief Planner accepts blame for street sewerage

Chief Planner Gregory Adams said much of the responsibility for sewerage running openly in the streets in some communities should rest with the Planning Department which he overlooks.
Adams made that concession during Standing Finance Committee (SFC) hearings with the Town & Country Planning (TCP) Department where he was questioned by Opposition Leader Julian Fraser about the long-standing bugbear.

Just last year, Fraser took aim at the poor state of waste management in the territory, particularly given the amount of effluent seen running in the BVI’s streets. At the time, Fraser said it was always an issue that plagued the territory but suggested it was allowed to become so pervasive due to a lack of proper planning.

According to Adams, from a planning standpoint when applications are received, the TCP needs to ensure that the applications are reviewed as far as the output for black water from the sewerage side of the waste.

The Chief Planner gave the assurance that his department scrutinises those applications — along with assistance from the Environmental Health Department — to ensure that the sewerage capacity that is required by calculation is indicated within the plans.

However, Adams said the TCP needs to do a better job at ensuring that the capacity that is approved is actually built and also needs to do more technical work in terms of the soil quality that these projects are being built on to ensure that the soil is of such that it allows for percolation rather than runoff.

He further shared that an ongoing study with the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) and the issue of soil quality was one of the inputs that they were able to give for the study to look at.

The Chief Planner also suggested that a soil lab be created at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) where he expressed that soil testing could be done and persons trained to determine the quality of the soil where development is happening, especially from a standpoint of percolation.

In the meantime, Adams noted that while part of the legislation governing the TCP provides a strong basis and methods for addressing property standards, amenities and properties that are being poorly kept, the challenge becomes one of a budgetary nature.

Adams told the SFC that a request was made for $7,500 for training. However, he said the funds were not placed in the budget. He pleaded with the SFC for the funds to be allocated.

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