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Dec 21, 2017

Activities at quarry violated ECP for George Price Highway re-building

An investigation continues into what caused a blasting operation at the Santa Cruz quarry outside of Santa Elena Town to go catastrophically wrong, causing one death and severe damage to several homes in the immediate area. But tonight more information has surfaced as to the origin of the project and violations not limited to contractors Belize Roadway Construction and Tiger Aggregates. In 2014, a team of experts conducted an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, commonly known as an E.I.A., for the rehabilitation of the George Price Highway between miles forty-eight and seventy-four, or from just outside of Belmopan to Benque Viejo Town. Based on that E.I.A., an environmental compliance plan (E.C.P.) was agreed to between the Department of the Environment and Ministry of Works as developer in 2016. The E.C.P. under law is binding and sets out certain terms and conditions for carrying out the project without severe environmental degradation. In section three-point-three concerning earth movement activities, the Ministry of Works is advised to obtain appropriate licenses and permits from the Mining Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources. The extraction site boundaries should be demarcated and marked to minimize vegetation clearing and soil compaction. No site used for extraction of material for roads should be located next to areas of settlement, cultural sites, wetlands or other valued ecosystem components. And excavation must be accompanied by proper drainage at the respective sites. It appears that none of these guidelines were followed in the case of Santa Cruz. As amended in 2009, the Environmental Protection Act charges developers between fifty and one hundred thousand dollars and/or imprisonment for two years for failing to execute the E.C.P.’s relevant provisions.


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1 Response for “Activities at quarry violated ECP for George Price Highway re-building”

  1. Evaristo Avella says:

    Correction, please. Santa Cruz is a part of Santa Elena, and not “outside”.

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