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Apr 14, 2021

Chief Environmental Officer Speaks Out on Port of Magical Clearance

Over the weekend, the environmental clearance letter to Portico Enterprise Limited was leaked and circulated online. Signed and stamped by Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Alegria on April ninth, the letter gives approval for the construction and operation of Port of Magical Belize, a cruise ship port and day resort six kilometres south of the Sibun River. In a one-on-one interview with News Five today, Alegria says that the process for approval was long as there were serious concerns from the National Environmental Assessment Committee about the significant dumping of dredge spoils in the sea. The risks associated had to be addressed in supplemental documents for the clearance to be given.


Martin Alegria

Martin Alegria, Chief Environmental Officer, D.O.E.

“It was February they submitted a proposal, a concept. By the ending of February an E.I.A. was requested of them and in March/April, we developed the terms of reference for the E.I.A. and since then, March/April of 2019, they started developing the document via their E.I.A. preparers, as we call them – locals and foreigners. It wasn’t until January 2020, they presented the complete E.I.A.  Again, they usually would present to us a first draft and we go through it and see if it complies with the terms of reference for completeness, etc and then we go back and forth until we are satisfied that the E.I.A. report is enough to be sent to the NEAC. It was the ending of June that the NEAC decided to meet virtually and review the E.I.A.  At that meeting of NEAC, additional info was requested and then supplemental info was presented, addressing key issues of concern. And then in August, ending of August or thereabouts, the NEAC revisited the E.I.A. and supplemental info. That was in August and then in October, the NEAC met once more which was the third time to consider all the information gathered from the E.I.A originally to the supplemental info. And then in October, the NEAC decided to ask for more information, more details. The membership met on February second and at that meeting, which was the fourth NEAC meeting that is when the decision was made to approve the E.I.A. report with the supplemental info based on certain conditions that the NEAC either clarified, imposed or negotiated with the developer/investor.”

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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