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Jamaica: PM: I’ll Be First To Shut It Down – Holness Defends Puerto Bueno Decision

IT WAS not for money why the Government overruled the local environment watchdog in permitting mining in the ecologically sensitive Puerto Bueno Mountain in St Ann, the tourism-dependent parish on Jamaica’s northern coast, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has charged.

However, Holness’ promise that he will shut down the project if there are breaches is hardly convincing for residents and advocates who have expressed disappointment that the head of government is sticking with his decision.

Also bubbling is a growing call for the release of information on the decision-making process, with National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) CEO Peter Knight now saying that the decision to publish documents beyond the constraints imposed on the mining is up to the Holness-headed Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

“What won out was for more careful and comprehensive consideration of the environmental benefits and the economic and developmental benefits,” Holness told The Gleaner on Thursday after he launched his first public pushback against lobbyists who oppose the environment permit to Bengal Development Limited.

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