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Police disperse Lami residents who had gathered outside cement factories to raise concerns about emission levels
Factories undergoing a 2 weeks trial period where emission levels are being monitored

Police disperse Lami residents who had gathered outside cement factories to raise concerns about emission levels

Factories undergoing a 2 weeks trial period where emission levels are being monitored

By Rashika Kumar
Saturday 10/04/2021

Some Lami residents who had gathered with signs outside two cement manufacturing factories to raise concerns about the emissions were dispersed by the police this morning.

The residents are raising concerns about the dust being emitted by two cement manufacturing companies during their operations and when they transport material from the Suva Wharf.

Sydel Whippy says they will not give up on the fight for clean and safe air.

Whippy says they had applied for a permit to gather but had not received a response.

She says the residents had initially gathered outside the road leading to the factories but upon dispersal by police, the residents had stood outside their homes with their signs.

Whippy says they have raised their concerns with the Ministry of Environment after which an Environment Monitoring Committee was set up in August last year.

The resident says they want the two factories to abide by the laws and not emit pollutants.

Police spokesperson, Savaira Tabua has confirmed that police had advised those standing outside the factories to disperse.

She says the organizer was also questioned, advised and released.

The Ministry of Waterways and Environment issued Prohibition Notices to the companies late last month as they suspected that the dust emitted from the operations may not be of national air quality standard.

A two weeks trial period began last week that will allow for the regular monitoring of emission levels.

Permanent Secretary for Waterways and Environment, Joshua Wycliffe says yesterday concluded week 1 of the testing and the results would be made available either today or on Monday morning.

He says the Department will jointly review the results with the companies to ascertain the potential levels of emissions.

Wycliffe says over the last week, he has met with the various team members from the two companies, including their senior leadership who have committed to ensuring that they will remain within the required standards.

He adds the Ministry will take it further as soon as the results are reviewed.

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