The Department of the Environment
takes this opportunity to inform potential investors or developers and the General Public of Regulation (2) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 1995;
“Any persons, agencies, institutions (whether public or private), unless exempted pursuant to these Regulations, shall, before embarking on a propose project or activity, apply to the Department for a determination whether such project or activity would require an environmental impact assessment”
In addition, Regulation 22A (2) of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Amendment) Regulations, 2007 emphasize that:
“The Developer shall, notwithstanding any other legal obligation, not proceed with the undertaking, project, programme or activity until and unless the Developer has signed an environmental compliance plan and received environmental clearance from the Department”
Furthermore, Section 9 of the Environmental Protection (Amendment) Act, 2009 states that:
“Every person who fails to carry out an environmental impact assessment or any conditions imposed by the Department or fails to execute its Environmental Compliance Plan as required under this Act or any regulations made thereunder, commits an offense and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than fifty thousand dollars and not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both such fine and imprisonment”
The General Public is advised to take note of the legislation and penalties for violation of same, and proceed accordingly.
Shoal Development and Guidelines
The Department of the Environment (DOE) would like to inform the general public, particularly investors and land developers, that prior to the purchase or final agreement to purchase any lands, it is advisable to inquire whether the land is developable and whether the land use in that specific site is compatible with their proposed development. It would be in their best interest to seek such clarification about the land prior to the purchase. To assist in this endeavor we would like to inform that the development of shoals and areas of “land” that are covered with more than one foot of water, is not permitted. In line with this, the DOE is once again hereby advising the general public that the use of corals, especially live ones, for use as fill material or material for seawalls, must cease immediately. All reports of such activity will be investigated jointly with the Fisheries Department, and offenders will be p rosecuted.
With the growth of the Tourism Industry, especially the cruise ship sector in the last five years, there has been an increased demand for marina services where tender vessels, yachts, and other boats could moor and be offered safe harborage. To assist in the proper planning and development of these structures, the Department of the Environment has developed Marina Environmental Guidelines, which tries to mitigate the possible adverse environmental impacts associated with marinas. Also, the DOE has developed Environmental Guidelines for construction of Over-The-Water structures (cabanas, restaurants, bars, villas, etc.). These structures have been proposed primarily for tourism purposes in the coastal areas such as the offshore cayes, riverbanks and lagoons. The DOE recognizes that developments of this nature should be conducted in a prudent and regulated manner, and hence developed such environmental guidelines for the benefit of all.