Public consultation on the proposed new dump in Bodden Town begins
The Department of Environment is inviting the public to give input on the draft terms of reference for an environmental impact assessment into the proposed dump in Bodden Town over the next three weeks.
The terms of reference outline the scope of the impact assessment that will be carried out and provide a general description of what will be contained within the Environmental Statement, which will result from the assessment.
The public has until 29 November to give their comments on the proposed terms of reference which were published on the Department of Environment’s website this week.
The environmental impact assessment will be confined to the area of Bodden Town district where the Dart group, as part of a land swap deal with the government, proposes to locate the dump. However, it will also explore the possibility of taking no action, meaning the continuation of operations at the current facility in George Town, known locally as Mount Trashmore.
The waste management facility proposal is part of the ForCayman Investment Alliance deal. That wide-ranging deal includes the extension of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway from Raleigh Quay into West Bay, which is already under way; closing a section of West Bay Road; and the redevelopment of the old Marriott Courtyard Hotel.
According to the draft terms of reference, the environmental impact assessment into the proposed dump will address all lands likely to be affected by the waste management facility and its associated infrastructure, including access and facilities. The study area is confined to land within 3,000 feet of the 110 acre site and area beyond the 3,000 feet boundary for “visual amenity, traffic and ecology reviews”.
The planned life span of the proposed dump is at least 20 years, calculated from the waste predictions and the available landfill airspace, the terms of reference state.
The Environmental Advisory Board, which includes representatives from the Departments of Environment, Planning and Environmental Health, as well as National Roads Authority, Water Authority and Petroleum Inspectorate, drew up the draft terms of reference, which are available for public consultation until 29 November.
Two open house sessions this month will be held this month so the public can review and comment on the draft and give feedback. The sessions will be held at the Bodden Town Civic Centre on Tuesday, 20 November, and at the George Town Public Library on Wednesday, 21 November. Both sessions run from 12 noon to 9pm, with presentations beginning at 7pm. Representatives from the ForCayman Investment Alliance and the Environmental Advisory Board will be available at both sessions.
The Environmental Advisory Board will receive all comments and the board’s consultant will coordinate responses to the comments. Once the public consultation period is completed, the board will approve the final terms of reference.
The EIA consultant will then conduct the environmental impact assessment in accordance with the final terms of reference and develop the environmental study. The study will be also made available for public review for 21 days, during which public meetings will be held. The consultant will draw a final environmental study which will be reviewed by the Environmental Advisory Board and provide a written statement to the government and Dart Realty. Dart Realty will then submit the final environmental study along with a written statement from the Environmental Advisory Board to the Planning Department as part of the planning permission application.
The scope of the assessment will include the potential impact of the facility on groundwater, population dynamics, tourism, air quality and transport routes, among several others.
Hard copies of the terms of reference are available at the Government Administration Building in Elgin Avenue, George Town, at the Bodden Town Public Library and Post Office and at the George Town Public Library.