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Laws coming to combat noise pollution

Gercine Carter

Laws coming to combat noise pollution
Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde, arrives for the Estimates on Monday. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

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Legislation is coming to further address Barbados’ noise problem.

Barbadians in various parts of the island have been complaining about spending sleepless nights, disturbed by the noise of  kites left flying throughout the night with the advent of the high winds currently sweeping across the island during the Easter season,

This, as well as the deafening sound of motorbikes with amplified mufflers speeding through neighbourhoods day and night prompted vigorous calls for something to be done.

Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley joined the chorus of complainers yesterday, expressing his concerns about the issue to Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde, in the House of Assembly.

Forde and a team from his Ministry were in the Well of Parliament making their presentation for the close to $40 million allocated to that Ministry in the 2021-2022 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure when Atherley asked what was being done.

Responding, Forde explained there was a section of the Health Services Act “which speaks to noise as a nuisance” and said there was “a process involving the police once that nuisance is identified”.  However, he conceded, there was “an issue of catching those perpetrators”.

Team member Lisa Senhouse, deputy director of the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), the agency responsible for dealing with such matters, said in addition to the Health Services Nuisance law to which the Environment Minister referred, the EPD had also developed a noise policy “which speaks to a legal framework for the management of noise from many different sources including industrial noise from a business, which may potentially affect its neighbours”.

Senhouse said: “We have a few challenges with enforcing that legislation and we are hoping that with the drafting instructions for new legislation which specifically speaks to noise and also identifies standards which must be met, that we will be able to strengthen the legal framework for policing noise in Barbados.” (GC)