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Monday 24 September 2018
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FFOS: Works have resumed in Las Cuevas

Work has reportedly resumed in Las Cuevas despite the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) ordering a halt to works due to concerns about a turtle nesting site.

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) Corporate Secretary Gary Aboud said the “renegade” contractor continues to act with impunity and in clear view of the EMA.

“The EMA is fully aware he is in clear violation of the law, his CEC (Certificate of Environmental Clearance) has expired and the EMA are acting as if they are neutered,” Aboud said.

He reported on Friday reports were made to the EMA about the resumption of works and a team visited the site “with the most cordial approach where the violators agreed to stop working.”

Aboud however questioned why, when the violator had repeatedly engaged in lawless conduct, the “culprits” have not been arrested and incarcerated.

“Why have the culprits not been charged and ordered to pay the cost of repair?”

Aboud had previously slammed the EMA for being a “toothless bulldog” that was not doing enough in terms of enforcement.

He said that, just as the Las Cuevas contractor was operating with impunity, another violator was operating in the Aripero mangrove and lagoon and damaging a scarlet ibis nesting site.

On Saturday a man telephoned Newsday and reported seeing works under way at the site opposite Rincon Junction.

He expressed concern about the cutting of trees and damage to wildlife.

“The developer more powerful than the EMA,” the man said. Earlier this month EMA corporate communications officer Mario Singh informed Newsday an EMA team met with the contractor and works have been stopped.

He also reported the contractor had performed work adjacent to the site and received a notice of violation related to it last year and investigations were continuing.

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