Categorized | Featured, National News

Minister Advances Environmental Bill

Minister of the Environment and Housing Kenred Dorsett issued a draft of the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection Bill yesterday.

This new bill was announced by the government earlier this week as one of its actions to mitigate any risk to Marathon residents following the oil spill at the nearby Rubis service station.

The bill is expected to be tabled on October 19 and according to Dorsett, the bill proposes to implement measures that will increase environmental protection and oversight throughout the country.

He explained that the bill is open to the public for commentary, as it seeks to establish a Department of Environmental Planning and Protection.

“The government is committed to hearing from Bahamians to help shape this new legislation,” Dorsett said in a statement. “We encourage all Bahamians to comment on this important piece of legislation that will help protect The Bahamas’ beautiful and world renowned environment.”

The draft proposed that the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection would have supervision over a number of environmental issues inclusive of environmental protection standards, regulations for the discharge of waste at sea, an environmental emergency programme and environmental information, research, education and training.

According to the proposed draft, the minister responsible for environmental planning and protection may make regulations for environmental protection and provide measures for monitoring and ensuring the safety of water supplies, prevent the supply and use of unsafe water for human consumption, prevent and control the use and release of toxic contaminated or hazardous substances and prevent and control the shipment and disposal of hazardous waste.

The draft also notes that the minister is responsible for investigations and when appropriate, has a duty to develop and implement fees, in coordination with the Ministry of Finance, to collect from persons whose activities cause or are likely to cause damage to the environment.

However, Dorsett further explained that, “The new Department of Environmental Planning and Protection will also consolidate all environmental protection and planning measures in one place to ensure timely response to environment and natural resource issues and emergencies.”

“The government remains committed to the health and prosperity of The Bahamas and our fellow Bahamians. This draft bill demonstrates that as well as our commitment to the environmental health of The Bahamas,” he said.

Dorsett expressed that he looks forward to hearing from all environmentalists, stakeholders and the general public with their concerns about the bill.

The draft bill can be accessed on the Ministry of Environment and Housing’s Facebook page at or on the government’s website at

A copy can also be collected at the ministry’s offices at Charlotte House, East and Shirley Streets.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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