The Department of the Environment (DOE) continues to receive reports of the burning of household and yard waste in both urban and nual areas. This prevalent and harmful practice continues to greatly reduce the air quality for residents and threatens life and property from fires, especially around this time of the year, due to the dry season.

The burning of waste emits invisible but harmful substances into the air that are breathed in by residents in nearby conununities, including vulnerable persons such as the elderly, babies, and those suffering from respiratory diseases. Given the outbreak of COV1D-19, such practices may contribute to reduced health in persons, especially the most vulnerable.

The DOE calls on all persons to discontinue this harmful practice of burning waste in and near conununities, whether in towns, cities or villages, private or public properties, to maintain air quality for all residents, especially at this critical time.

The public is reminded that air pollution is regulated under the Pollution Regulations, which states that it is illegal to allow or permit contaminants to be emitted or discharged either directly or indirectly into the air from sources without a permit from the DOE.

The Department of the Environment will make all efforts, in conjunction with other regulatory agencies and municipal bodies, to enforce the Pollution Regulations, and any person caught in violation will be prosecuted.