Request for Information on Portico’s Plans Goes Unanswered by Department of Environment
Recently, Allan Herrera issued a letter, utilizing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), to get documents from NEAC regarding Portico’s Water Management Plan, Manatee Management, and its Emergency Management and Response Plans. That letter was dated, June 26, some ten days ago. Herrera says he is yet to get a response from the Department of the Environment.
Allan Herrera, Nextera: “No, no answers yet. As my colleague says in so much of this, their silence is deafening. We haven’t heard a word. These revelations came about the definitive agreement. I always thought that we were the biggest at 7.5 million cubic meters of materials to be dredged. Later on, finding out that the Port of Magical is talking about 8.5 million which is a million more than ours, and we were even saying that we could probably bring that down to 7 million. And now that we’ve heard that, I’m not hearing my colleagues at all. In the environmental community, I thought I would hear them by now, at least by now I thought I would hear from them. All this dredging in a very sensitive area like that. I mean if you’re a keen observer of the times, you know that area is very near to Southern Lagoon and you know Southern Lagoon is one of the richest manatee habitats in the country. It’s second only to the mouth of the Belize River area, and so you are saying you are going to be doing that amount of dredging there in a very sensitive area, we call it green fields, it’s never been developed before, it’s completely new territory and we’re not hearing our friends and our colleagues in the environmental community, and I really miss them, and I want to hear from them. We should be hearing from them. This is very important.”
Apparently, the request to the Department of the Environment, is not the only one submitted by Waterloo. Pietro-Munoz told the media that there have been many.
Luis Prieto Munoz, Representative, Piedroba Consulting Group: “I can say it’s very disappointing to pursue information that is due by law and is due by right and to be stifled and stymied at those points, possibly deliberately, possibly not. But either way, in many instances, we’ve had requests outstanding for many months that have not been fulfilled and it’s really limiting our abilities and they are due to us. So to the extent that legal action is being taken, I think… the only thing I know with certainty is that we’re going to take whatever course of action is best for us given the circumstances. But I can’t, I don’t know specifically at what point what we’re planning. But ultimately, I think it’s just unfortunate that these requests have been ignored. And it speaks to the process that we’ve been held to all along. I mean, it’s another pattern of just abandonment of the due process we thought we were taking on as soon as we started this entire expedition seven, eight years ago.”