Start internet consultation for the amendment of the Act Electricity and Drinking Water BES

On Wednesday the 21st of October, the proposal to amend the Electricity and Drinking Water (BES) will be open for consultation. In the summer of 2019, the proposed amendments were already consulted extensively. With the outcomes of the first consultation round, the proposal has been modified. Only the part of the proposal that concerns the Act Electricity and Drinking Water BES, will be up for consultation in this round.

The aim is to secure a reliable, sustainable and stable supply of drinking water that is affordable and hence accessible to everyone. The proposed provisions also contribute to improving the implementation of the Act.

The internet consultation round will start on Wednesday the 21st of October and will close for comments on the 18th of November.

In the following link you can find the proposed amendment of the Act and the possibility the send comments: www.internetconsultatie.nl/wijziging_wedb_BES_2020

In detail:

Amendment of the Electricity and Drinking Water (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba) Act
Short introduction/background

In cooperation with other ministries, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is preparing to amend the Electricity and Drinking Water (BES) Act (WEDB), Commodities (BES)
Act, Environment and Spatial Planning (BES) Act and Public Bodies (BES) Finances Act. The bill was released for consultation in summer 2019. The WEDB amendments have since been
modified and the latest amendments are now released for consultation. The other acts have not been amended and are NOT released for consultation.

Aim of the amendments and the target groups
Amendment of the Electricity and Drinking Water (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba) Act (WEDB) and the Commodities (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba) Act The amendments to the WEDB and the Commodities (BES) Act relate to the drinking water supply. The aim is to secure a reliable supply of drinking water and contribute to improving the implementation of the Act. Under the proposals:
1. the current provisions on tariffs will be retained; the previous proposal to reintroduce a capacity tariff would increase the cost of the drinking water supply to such an extent that it would affect lower incomes.
2. the obligation to hold a seven-day supply of drinking water will be abolished and the water companies will be obliged to supply, each day and within 24 hours, at least 75% of the maximum amount of water supplied on a peak day;
3. section 3.15 (4) on restoring connections in cases of uncertainty and misinterpretation will be scrapped;
4. section 3.2 (4) will be amended so that natural persons can also transport water by road;
5. the addition of the authority of the Minister to provide an instruction prevents that tariffs become too high or too low;
6. the Commodities (BES) Act and WEDB will be better aligned so that bottled water is subject only to the WEDB.

Amendment of the Environment and Spatial Planning (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba) Act and Public Bodies (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba) Finances Act No substantive amendments have been proposed for these acts since the previous consultation and they are therefore not released for consultation. Needless to say, the bills aim to increase the duty of care regarding wastewater and improve enforcement and the regulation of environmental consequences. The new basis in the Environment and Spatial Planning (BES) Act makes it possible to introduce environmental quality requirements by order in council that can then be implemented by island ordinance.

Target groups:
• Drinking water customers
• Drinking water companies
• Public bodies of the Caribbean Netherlands
• Businesses (institutions)

Expected effect of the amendments WEDB and Commodities (BES) Act

The bill will strengthen governance and alignment with the Commodities (BES) Act. It will also improve the minister’s ability to fulfil her system responsibility and overall responsibility for drinking water in the Caribbean Netherlands and ensure a reliable supply of drinking water.

Environment and Spatial Planning (BES) Act and Public Bodies (BES) Finances Act

No substantive amendments have been proposed for these acts since the previous consultation and they are therefore not released for public consultation. Needless to say, the increased duty
of care for wastewater means the public bodies can introduce a wastewater charge. This may be important for the sustainable operation of the sewage treatment plant and the sustainable
management of natural resources.

Purpose of the consultation

To inform residents, businesses, organisations and institutions about the changes in the proposed amendments to the WEDB and allow them to respond. This will increase the transparency of the legislative procedure and enable those involved to contribute to the quality of the bills.

Which proposals can you respond to?

You can respond ONLY to the proposed amendments to the WEDB via this website until the 18th of November 2020. The amendments to the other acts were released for consultation in 2019
and will not be released again.

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