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#15568 - 12/20/02 05:27 PM Court says Chalillo can proceed
Marty Offline
Word out of the Supreme Court is
that the Chalillo Hydroelectric
project
now has a green light to proceed. A
release from BECOL, the company
that proposes to build the plant,
says
that Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh
today ruled that the National
Environmental Appraisal Committee
and Department of the Environment did follow proper
procedures in approving Chalillo's Environmental Impact
Assessment. The lawsuit had been filed by the Belize
Alliance
of Conservation N.G.O.'s, BACONGO, and had blocked the
construction of the facility that BECOL's parent
company,
Belize Electricity Limited, says the country badly needs
to
keep up with demand for power. It is expected that
despite
any appeal that may be lodged by BACONGO, B.E.L. will
commence construction in the near future, once a court
ordered public hearing on the project is held.

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#15569 - 12/20/02 07:46 PM Re: Court says Chalillo can proceed
GAY AND DAVID Offline
how sad

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#15570 - 12/20/02 07:54 PM Re: Court says Chalillo can proceed
ckocian Offline
Well, Merry Christmas, folks....from the people at KITA BEL (Kick in the A** Belize Electric Limited.)

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#15571 - 12/21/02 01:46 AM Re: Court says Chalillo can proceed
Grace Offline
How does something like that happen. it sounds too much like political stuff. I know that happens all the time, butr there are so many good people involved in this, it's just hard to believe. mad
_________________________
Grace DeVita

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#15572 - 12/21/02 03:44 AM Re: Court says Chalillo can proceed
SFJeff Offline
Not so fast!!! If you go to the stopfortis site, you'll see that where as the judge did not rule that Fortis cannot build the dam, he DID rule that they had to cease any/all construction until further public hearings were held!!! Fortis CANNOT continue until this is done, so now's the time more than ever to garner support against the project!!!

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#15573 - 12/21/02 04:56 AM Re: Court says Chalillo can proceed
SFJeff Offline
..e-mail sent out from StopFortis:

We have a good note on the Macal River Valley for the end of the year: Chief Justice Abdullah Conteh upheld a major complaint in the lawsuit by Belizean environmental groups and has ordered public hearings be held on the dam project. Judge Conteh ruled that the process 'must stop' until hearings are held.

The judge did not, however, overturn the government's decision to approve the project, and BACONGO, the coalition of groups in Belize that brought the suit plans to file an appeal, and will prevail. The decision will be posted shortly on www.StopFortis.org. Below is a news release from the Coalition with more details.

Happy holidays and thank you all again for your great support,
Ari Hershowitz
for the Coalition to Save the Macal River Valley

Judge Orders Public Hearing for Canadian-backed Dam in
Central American Rainforest

Belize's Supreme Court has recommended public hearings on a controversial plan by Newfoundland-based power company, Fortis, Inc., to build a 50-metre high dam in the rainforest of this tiny Central American country.

In a packed courtroom in Belize City yesterday, Chief Justice Abdullah Conteh advised that work on the Chalillo hydro project be stopped until a public hearing is held. "The public, I think, has a right to be heard,' said Conteh, ". . . if the inclusive and democratic process is to mean anything, especially on such a project as the Chalillo dam, with its admittedly wide-ranging ramifications.'

Justice Conteh called the environmental lawsuit, brought by a coalition of environmental groups known as BACONGO, 'unique' and praised BACONGO for defending the public interest.

BACONGO argued that Fortis' environmental assessment, which was paid for by the Canadian International Development Agency, was incomplete and rushed through a government-dominated committee without the benefit of public hearings required by Belizean law.

"Fortis and its government partners tried to bulldoze Belize's laws,' said Sharon Matola, a leading biologist and BACONGO member. "This decision moves us closer to putting things right.'

BACONGO intends to appeal the ruling, nonetheless, arguing that the judgment did not go far enough.

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#15574 - 12/21/02 09:50 PM Re: Court says Chalillo can proceed
Marty Offline
B.E.L. says it's two years behind on Chalillo
While the environmentalists are going back to their corner to regroup
after the
Supreme Court ruled against them on Chalillo, B.E.L. is getting ready to
move
ahead with its plans. According to C.E.O. Lynn Young, his company might
have won a
legal victory, but the country has taken an economic loss.

Lynn Young, C.E.O., B.E.L.
"You probably won't see anything on the ground for another year. The
process to continue, we have to have the public hearing, which we hope
to have next month; we need to get a contractor, and he will probably
need a few months to mobilise and get everything together, by which time
the first rainy season will be on us. So there probably won't be a lot
of work on the ground until early 2004."

"Any which way, I think we have lost because the whole project has been
delayed two years. We are now behind on our planning, we are short in
capacity, we are pushing hard to try to get the gas turbines installed,
we've been having meetings with Mexico because they are having capacity
problems, they have had a lot of growth over there, and
they are telling us that they might have to cut back on supply to us if
they cannot get certain emergency measures in place. So I think in all
the delays have already begun to hurt the country as a whole, not just
B.E.L."

According to representatives of the Belize Alliance of Conservation
N.G.O.'s, they will appeal Chief Justice Conteh's ruling and are
planning to use the public hearings scheduled for January to lobby
public support.

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#15575 - 12/21/02 11:29 PM Re: Court says Chalillo can proceed
trina Offline
Sad. Surely there is some other alternative source of power that can be found...wind, solar, something, that will not destroy the landscape. frown confused

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