Posted: Thursday, June 29, 2017. 1:49 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: In relation to the current debate on the “entertainment strip” in the area of Newtown Barracks in Belize City and the issue of NOISE POLLUTION being experienced for some time now by residents in the surrounding area, the Department of the Environment (DOE) supports the Mayor of Belize City and the Belize City Council in enforcing legislation that exists to ensure that there is a balance between the economic development of Belize and a healthy environment for all. As a Government Department that stands by its motto “Balancing Development and the Environment”, the DOE believes in the economic/commercial development of the community, but not at the expense of the very same citizens we are here to develop and protect. This specific area in question has been a challenging location for the DOE on the issue of noise pollution.
Noise abatement legislation have been on the books for quite a long time now, in the form of the Pollution Regulations of 1995 and the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act. The Pollution Regulations speak to “permissible levels” of noise and the pre-requirement of “soundproofing” of establishments producing noise.
There are measures that can be put in place to reduce the level of noise so it does not affect the quality of life of surrounding neighbourhoods; however, this needs the collaboration of all those involved.
The DOE is once again, as has been for the past 20 years, requesting the support of ALL Liquor Licensing Boards throughout the country that, before a licence is issued to an establishment, it ensures that the DOE has approved such establishment regarding prevention of noise pollution. For too long violators of the noise abatement regulations have gone unregulated, making it a norm in our society to just accept that violating our laws is a way of life.
The DOE continues to support any municipality that wishes to enforce noise abatement regulations and encourages other communities to do the same.
The DOE also calls on the relevant authorities, such as Local Governments, Police Department, Business Owners/Private Sector and especially the Liquor Licensing Boards, to work together to ensure compliance with existing legislation that assist in creating a healthier quality of life that every citizen deserves. It is only by all sectors working together that we can develop Belize in a sustainable manner.
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