The environmental and conservation community has written to Nextera Environmental & Engineering Consultants, the company hired by Waterloo for its recent Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. In the letter, Nextera is asked to (quote) “clarify, via matrix or similar for ease of reference, as to how the “new” Environmental and Social Impact Assessment report you have prepared for the project differs from the previous version submitted to the National Environmental Appraisal Committee.” (end of quote). Vice President of Oceana Belize, Janelle Chanona, told us more.
Janelle Chanona, President, Oceana Belize: “It will certainly inform what we have taken away from comparing the two documents because at the end of it, as the earlier letter in 2020 noted, we don’t see a scenario where ocean dumping should qualify for Belize and the science does not change in terms of anywhere that you dump material, particular this amount of material, would not eventually end up on the reef near one of the World Heritage Sites, compromise fishing etc. So that’s concern holds in terms of one of the primary reasons for this. So the fact that the wording has changed from offshore dumping to nearshore dumping still means in the Caribbean Sea. That is the point of fact and people are talking about the area of coverage because it will be more material dumped nearshore. I think it goes up to something like 1200 acres of area that will be dumped, that these materials will be dumped. We still hold that that is something that we cannot support moving forward with this project because again it’s still in the sea and all the science, all the modelling that we’ve seen shows that this will eventually end up back in the Caribbean, the reef and in the Caribbean Sea.”
Reporter: But nearshore is still land. Correct?
Janelle Chanona, President, Oceana Belize: “No. We’re asserting that near the shore does not mean on the land. Near the shore means in the Caribbean Sea and if you look at the maps that have been provided and the areas that they’ve demarcated, that’s in the water. That’s not on the land. “