Noise Pollution In St. Kitts – Nevis
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
November 18, 2008 (CUOPM)
A bill regulating noise in residential areas on St. Kitts is now available for public scrutiny.
The draft legislation was introduced by Prime Minister and Minister of Sustainable Development, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, and given its first reading during the November 11th sitting of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly.
The Noise Abatement Bill, 2008, will make provision for the regulation of noise from private premises and public places.
If it becomes law, a person will not be allowed to create noise in a manner that the sound is audible beyond a distance of one hundred meters from the source of the sound and is reasonably capable of causing annoyance to persons in the vicinity.
Where the sound is audible beyond one hundred meters in the vicinity of any school, church, hospital, nursing home, infirmary, dwelling house, hotel or guest house, the sound shall be presumed to cause annoyance to persons in that vicinity.
Under this clause, one may be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 300 dollars and in the case of a subsequent offence to a fine not exceeding six hundred dollars or in default of a payment to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months.
Clause 6 makes provision for the regulation of noise from a public place. The days and times when noise is allowed from public places are set out in this clause.
“No person shall on public premises sound or play upon any musical instrument, noisy instrument or loud speaker (a) on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between the hours of 10 P.M. and 6 A.M. of the following morning or (b) on a Friday or Saturday between the hours of 12 midnight and 6 A.M. of the following morning where the sound is audible beyond a distance of one hundred meters from the source of the sound and is reasonably capable of causing annoyance to persons in the vicinity.
One may be liable, in the case of a first offence to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or in the case of a subsequent offence to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or in default to a fine of payment to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months.
Clauses 7 and 8 provide for the issuance of a noise permit by the Commissioner of Police and for the application for a permit. The Commissioner’s decision to grant or not to grant the permit is final and binding, in other words it cannot be appealed.
Exempted are noise emitted in the course of operating a public utility undertaking, noise emitted by or associated in the course of the maintenance, repair or testing of aircraft engines, noise emitted in the Town of Basseterre during National Carnival or during any other national festival, noise emitted from the National Stadium or Warner Park as part of any authorised activity and noise emitted in the course of using premises for any purpose of animal husbandry if it is necessary to the attainment of this purpose.
The Noise Abatement Bill, 2008 does not apply to body, organisation or person specified in the First Schedule, which lists all religious organisations registered in St. Kitts and all educational institutions.
Minister of Public Works, Utilities, Posts and Transport, Dr. the Hon. Earl Asim Martin, introduced the bill last week. Copies are available at the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS), Government Headquarters, Church Street, in Basseterre.