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Aug 31, 2001

Environmental assessment on Chalillo concluded

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Now that the Environmental Impact Assessment on the Macal River Upstream Storage Facility Project, better known as Chalillo, has been completed, BECOL is hoping to get the green light from the Department of the Environment to finish the dam. Thursday night on “One on One with Dickie Bradley,” B.E.L.’s CEO, Lynn Young, reasoned that they have done their homework and the positive impacts of Chalillo far outweigh the negative.

Lynn Young, CEO, B.E.L.

“The financiers, the people who lend the money, they are deathly afraid of the environmentalists, because the environmentalists have closed numerous projects¼”

Dickie Bradley

“So you need to make sure that the environmentalists are at least comfortable with the project.”

Lynn Young

“The other aspect is a political aspect. I wouldn’t think any company should attempt a project like that without making sure they have done their homework properly. We have done our Environmental Impact Assessment. It’s very comprehensive and expensive to do. I think it is one of the best Environmental Impact Assessment ever done in Belize. I say so with no excuses because I’ve seen it and I know the work that has been done there and I’ve seen other E.I.A.’s for projects that have gone through and nobody had even blinked an eye. This is well done.

But at the end of the day, you got to present something to the government and the people of Belize that shows that we are a responsible company and we’re doing the right thing. And that is what all the delay was about. Like you said, probably most politicians on both sides on the fence realise that we need to do this, so we probably could just come and say hey man look, forget everybody and let’s do this thing. But at the end of the day, the politicians will have to face the international community and the international environmental community, and you’ve got to have something to hang your hat on and say listen, we’re doing this the right way.”

Dickie Bradley

“They have something to hang their hat on?”

Lynn Young

“We have done a very thorough environmental impact assessment and I think that it’s really up to the government to say, listen, these are the adverse effects, this is what B.E.L. plans to do to mitigate it, these are the positive effects. The positive effects far outweigh the adverse.

You can’t live your life or you can’t run a country based on what international environmentalists are saying. The World Wildlife Fund and the N.R.D.C. and these people, just the building, their head office, draws more power than Belize City draws. So these guys are living up there in comfort in the air condition, with elevators and everything and they are telling us…”

Dickie Bradley

“They have reliable power?”

Lynn Young

“They have excellent power.”

Dickie Bradley

“Have they proposed a solution? If we don’t build the dam can they tell us what we are to do? Fund a solar programme?”

Lynn Young

“They are not putting any money to help anything. The only money they spend is to try and preserve the wildlife. It’s a noble cause, don’t get me wrong, but I think it can be managed. And at the end of the day, we have to live too.”

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