Firm sought for environmental assessment of cruise berthing

The government is seeking to hire a firm to conduct an environmental assessment in relation to a proposed cruise ship berthing facility in George Town. 

According to a recently advertised tender for the provision of environmental and engineering consultancy services, the Ministry of District Administration, Tourism and Transport has invited qualified consultants to apply to carry out a study of the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project. 

“To carry out the environmental assessment, it is necessary for government to procure the services of an independent consultant who specializes in this type of work, and to that end, the Ministry of Tourism issued a request for proposals on 23 December 2013,” said Gina Matthews, public relations manger for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. 

“The successful consultant will carry out studies and modeling varying from wave and [sea] current studies to traffic impacts on shore, and the outcome of the assessment will be an environmental statement and management plan.  

“The requirements of the statement and plan will be incorporated into the final cruise facility planning and construction process,” Ms Matthews said in a press release. 

She said the assessment would begin early this year. 

In October 2013, the business case, prepared by independent consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers advised that an environmental impact assessment be submitted for the proposed facility. Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell confirmed that environmental matters must take precedence when it comes to making decisions about the project. 

In that same month, the terms of reference for the environmental impact assessment were prepared by Mott MacDonald, a company of international marine engineering and environmental consultants to PricewaterhouseCoopers that worked with the Environmental Assessment Board.  

The board for the proposed berthing facility is comprised of members from various government agencies and departments, including the Department of Environment, Port Authority, Planning Department, Department of Tourism, National Roads Authority and the National Museum. 

Once Mott MacDonald’s terms of reference were completed, they were submitted for feedback from the public at a meeting in Red Bay on Nov. 20, 2013. Residents were encouraged to review the terms and make comments. A revised edition was subsequently produced that included the comments received. 

“We don’t want at the end of this for someone to say, we should have looked at this or we should have looked at that,” tourism councilor Joey Hew told the Caymanian Compass last year.