Today as our reporter stationed in Corozal travelled along the Consejo Road he took notice of an ongoing development in the area. Most noticeable was the fact that a huge area had been bulldozed for subdivision of land and that almost every single tree on the property was cleared. Immediately we set to find out if the Department of Environment was aware of such an activity as they are the entity responsible for the issuing of permits known as environmental clearance. Viewers might recall that on the 27th of July the Department of the Environment issued a release in which it stated that
Environmental Clearance is required by law, under the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations and it would only be granted through a letter issued by the DOE. The release also stated that such clearance can only be obtained from the DOE based on an environmental screening process. This process is important for developments in Belize to operate under as it will offer the best environmental safety standards and will minimize potential negative impacts to human health and the environment.
Now, going back to the development taking place, upon consulting with an environmental officer at the department we were told off camera that the department was made aware of the clearance taking place in the area via several calls from local residents. The officer further stated that the company carrying out the work was indeed bulldozing the area without any proper clearance. However, the department acted immediately and a stop order was issued.
We understand that the company plans to cut a canal from the seaside to their development. However, the Department of the Environment has stated that the company cannot continue with said plan as they need to submit an application for that development to take place. According to the officer, the D.O.E will not issue a permit unless the company passes the hydrology assessment. This assessment is to be carried out by a certified Environmental Consultant, and the results will determine whether they can proceed with the development.
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