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Jun 30, 2023

Minister of Sustainable Development Explains Portico’s ECP

Orlando Habet

In his response to the Opposition Leader, Minister Habet provided a chronology that ended with him publicly stating that Portico is not in violation of its Environmental Compliance Plan.


Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development

“On April 11th, 2023, the company also submitted to the DOE the management plan for the Antillean manatee which has been shared with the Fisheries Department.  The company is responsible to implement the plan with the Fisheries Department and local NGOs.  A reclamation work plan which is being reviewed by the DOE and the Mining Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources.  Also, they submitted the draft water quality monitoring program which has been reviewed and feedback provided to the company.  Emergency response plans as per requirement 3.1.3 of the ECP which are being reviewed by the DOE at the moment.  On June 6th, 2023, the first draft rapid ecological assessment was submitted for review and the Department of the Environment responded to strengthen the assessment on June 16th, 2023.  Note that no inspection has been conducted since the signing of the ECP because no substantive physical work has been done on the site and, as per phase one, none is absolutely required.  A joint inspection with the Belize Port Authority, Mining Unit, Fisheries Department, Forest Department, Coastal Zone Management Authority is scheduled for June thirtieth.  This site inspection will reveal if any non-compliance exists at the project site level which will then be presented to the company in writing with a reasonable timeframe for the issues to be resolved or addressed.  So, in terms of the compliance status and based on all the above that I have mentioned, it is the opinion of the DOE that Port of Magical is currently in compliance with their ECP because phase one deals mostly with the submission of designs, plans and specifications which the company has done.”

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