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Oct 13, 2021

PM to Check Into Process for Stake Bank Causeway

On the controversial topic of the proposed Stake Bank causeway, on Tuesday, Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria said publicly that permission was given for the project a few years ago under the U.D.P. administration.  While the previous Minister of the Environment, Omar Figueroa, had indicated that a public consultation had to be held as well as cabinet approval had to be given for the project’s approval, Alegria said that he signed the Environmental Compliance Plan based on recommendation by the National Environmental Appraisal Committee.  Now since no public consultation was held to build the causeway and news of its construction has drawn flak, it is something that Prime Minister John Briceno says his government will have to check to see if the steps were followed.


Prime Minister John Briceno

Prime Minister John Briceno

“What do we have to do? Well we want to look at it to see if the process was followed. And if the process was followed, then it would be difficult to stop anything because there’s going to be a lawsuit. But if the process was not followed, then obviously then we have to ensure that the process is followed, because if we just leave it as it is, then I am sure someone is going to take out a lawsuit. So, we have to do what is right and that is commitment from our government. I attempted to try to get a copy, and I was told that they could not find it. I got some information, you know, since I knew when they talk about the causeway, I knew it had to go to physical planning. I spoke to the C.E.O, and that is how I got the information, and they did pay their hundred thousand dollars. So, EPC is a public document, so obviously we will then, I am certain that Minister Habet will make that document public. The Chief Environmental Officer is partially right. The NEAC, and that is the problem that I have been having with the NEAC, the NEAC in instances were going beyond review and creating a lot of backlog in the work that they do. But, where he is at fully, why a part that I do not fully agree with the Chief Environmental Officer is that then you have public consultations so that the public can bring up those issues, if it is an issue of the view that is going to be affected.  That supposed to be in the report.”


Briceno said that the relevant Ministry will also make public the minutes of a purported meeting that the NEAC had prior to approving the construction of the causeway, once those minutes are available.

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