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Jul 14, 2016

Santander Says No Stop Order Issued

Santander, the mega-million dollar investment in sugar cane growing and milling, has been issued with a stop order by the Department of the Environment. News Five brought you that story on Wednesday, confirmed by the C.E.O. in the Ministry of the Environment, Colin Young. The problem is a breach of environmental rules outlined in the company’s Environmental Compliance Plan, or ECP. On Wednesday Santander’s Representative Beverly Burke denied that there was indeed a stop order issued, and today, via phone, she explained.


On the Phone: Beverly Burke, Santander Representative, Belize

“We never received a stop order from the Department of the Environment. What we received in actual fact was an enforcement notice, and those are two very distinctly different documents. As a part of the monitoring program we have in place, we actually do monthly visits with a number of government agencies and that is led by the Department of the Environment. The recent concern for us is that as you are aware we are in the rainy season, and the scope of works that we had scheduled for the past two months included ongoing land management for the project development, and more specifically that was looking at the necessary drainage systems at the Santander properties. Based on the assessment and advice from our experts, we knew that from the areas based on the natural slope of the land were prone to taking in excessive waters, so what we ended up doing was cutting two drainage systems, connecting it to the other system that we already had in our own property. So I do want to reiterate here that the drainage that we put in is actually in the Santander property. To prevent the water from overflowing beyond our property, we ended up using dirt that I know the C.E.O. made reference to dams. We had created a blockage to maintain that flow of water on our own property contouring the water just so that it is channeled the way our drainage network is designed.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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