Barbados has no Environmental Protection legislation – so feel free to dump chemicals. That’s what companies do!
Over five years ago, Barbados Free Press asked Barbados Chemical Dumping – What Would Jesus Do?
Since that time we’ve been relentless in letting Bajans and others know that no Barbados government since independence has bothered to pass Environmental Protection laws. For all the good it does. The politicians didn’t even care when the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association asked the BLP and the DLP “Where is the Environmental Act you’ve both been promising for 20 years?”
The answer last year was, of course, “coming soon” or “in development” which really means “Shut up woman. We don’t want to upset Shell Oil and other companies that give us political funding.”
And so the “feel good, look good but do nothing” environmental campaign of the DLP government continues with the latest announcement that a chemical safety project “is coming”.
No environmental protection laws mind you: only nice feel good – look good publicity campaigns. Our current Environment Minister says he doesn’t believe in enforcing compliance and no wonder! You have to pass laws to enforce compliance with standards. It’s pretty basic.
Thanks to successive BLP and DLP governments, Barbados has no laws about the handling or disposal of chemicals – but we’re great at promises and recommendations.
Folks, please read the following at The Nation, and welcome to the third world.
Chemical safety project coming
Over the next two years, Barbadians should be better able to manage and dispose of various chemicals through a special project to be spearheaded by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD).
The project will seek to raise awareness about the Globally Harmonised System of Classification (GHS) and Labelling of Chemicals. It will also help individuals and businesses to better manage chemicals from the point of manufacturing or importation to disposal.
Speaking at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre yesterday at a workshop for the GHS project, Minister of the Environment Denis Kellman said the project would allow stakeholders to work together to chart a course that would see the GHS implemented here.
“The GHS promises to be an effective tool for strengthening the mechanisms of chemical management in Barbados by ensuring that the hazards of chemicals are classified in a consistent and predictable manner and effectively communicated to workers, consumers and emergency responders in a comprehensible and standardized format,” he said.
Kellman said with greater awareness of hazards, he was expecting safer use of chemicals in the workplace and in the home.
The environment minister said such behavioural changes would contribute to maintaining safe water supplies, an enjoyable and productive marine environment and protection of human health and the environment.
Kellman recalled that in 2008 the EPD, with the assistance of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), undertook a similar project and several “shortcomings” were identified which they would take actions to “overcome”.
“Some of the areas earmarked for urgent action by stakeholders who participated in that project were safe handling, use, storage and transportation of pesticides and industrial chemicals, chemical safety in the workplace, waste management, education and/or awareness raising and training,” he said.