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Aug 26, 2022

NGOs Also Ask Waterloo Consultant to Clarity on E.I.A.s

Janelle Chanona

The same group of NGOs also wrote to Allan Herrera, in his capacity as Principal Consultant for the Port of Belize Cruise Tourism Facility and Cargo Expansion proposed by Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited. That letter was copied to the Cabinet Secretary, Stuart Leslie, and to the Minister of Natural Resources, Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde, Minister of the Blue Economy, Andre Perez, Minister of the Environment, Orlando Habet and the Minister for Ports, Michel Chebat. In it, the NGOs ask Herrera to clarify how the previous E.I.A. differs from a new one that the company has submitted. Chanona shared their thoughts with us today.


Janelle Chanona, V.P. OCEANA, Belize

“We did feel that it would be very helpful to have them prepare an ease of reference matrix so that you can see one column to the next where they are defining that fundamental changes have been made. I’ll give you part of the reason for that is that we took a position in November, 2020 to say that there is no scenario that we foresee that would ever justify dumping dredge spoils into the Caribbean Sea to the tune of seven point five million cubic meters. And from what we’ve read, they are talking now about near-shore dumping but to be clear, offshore and near shore are both in the Caribbean Sea. It is not that close to land means on land or inland. It just means it’s near the shore and you cannot tell me that the water in front of the Bliss Institute is not the Caribbean Sea just because of its proximity to the shore, and I think now you’re talking about twelve hundred acres that would be covered by this dredge spoil and again the science remains unchanged in terms of saying that wherever you dump that material, ultimately the sediments from that material – and we’re still not sure what all is the composition of that material – would end up on the Belize Barrier Reef System. So the point of the letter was really just to make sure that what we’re reading is what they are meaning to convey.”

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