Environmentalist Diana McCauley says Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ comments on the controversial mining permit in the Dry Harbour Mountains of St Ann, is disappointing.

Mr Holness says the decision to uphold the appeal allowing phased mining in the area, was taken after developers assured they’d mitigate risks and pollution.

He says as the country grapples with increasing unemployment brought on by the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, it will be critical for the government to balance development and the environment.

But Ms McCaulay says an environmental crisis will be worse than any economic one.

Stevian Simmonds reports.

Ms McCaulay says the Prime Minister’s speech was incoherent, defensive, contradictory and full of red-herring.

The Prime Minister says his administration is equitable in making decisions about environmental assets, referring to a decision it made to halt development on the Goat Island.

Ms McCaulay says eco-tourism would be suited for the area.

But she says quarrying is unsustainable. 

The Environmental activist says the residents near the Dry Harbour Mountains have had almost a decade of quarrying that was unmanaged by the National Environment and Planning Agency, NEPA.

She says it’s important to obey the planning frameworks which stipulate where to mine, where to build and where to have residential areas.

Stevian Simmonds, for Nationwide News.

In the meantime, Chairman of the Queen’s Highway Citizens Association, Tony Holmes says he’s heard what he called nightmare stories about the impacts of mining in the community from those who’ve lived there before he did.

Tony Holmes, Chairman of the Queen’s Highway Citizens Association.

And resident of Discovery Bay, Erica Downer, is questioning the transparency of the appeal process, saying the stakeholders were excluded.

Erica Downer, resident of Discovery Bay. They were speaking on Nationwide This Morning.