The Dart-led consortium behind Cayman’s multi-million dollar waste management ReGen project at the George Town landfill will hold three public meetings next month to discuss plans for the site’s environmental impact assessment.
The draft terms of reference for the EIA will be published before 31 May, when the 21-day public consultation period begins.
Martin Edelenbos, Dart engineering coordinator, told the Cayman Compass in an interview that the terms of reference is “a roadmap to all of the investigations that have to be performed as part of the environmental impact assessment”.
He explained that the assessment reviews a variety of environmental and socioeconomic aspects that could be affected by the project.
“We’re looking at things like air quality, surface water, ground water quality, social issues,” he said.
Public meetings schedule:
- 8 June, 7-9pm – John Gray Memorial Hall
- 9 June, 7-9pm – Harquail Theatre
- 10 June, 7-9pm – Breakers Civic Centre
The draft terms of reference have been developed in collaboration with the Environment Assessment Board, which includes representatives from the Department of Environment, Department of Environmental Health, Department of Planning, National Roads Authority, and Water Authority Cayman.
Richard McAree, the project’s environmental social governance programme manager, said the team wants as much public participation in the process as possible, either through the public meetings or by submitting questions via the Department of Environment.
“The consultation process of the terms of reference relates to the opportunity for the public, either through reviewing it in government public offices where it will be available for viewing, or indeed coming to the three public meetings to ask questions,” he said, adding that questions can also be submitted through written forms at the meetings, via the DoE website or by delivering letters directly to the department.
Since the policy, strategy and outline business case for the Integrated Solid Waste Management System went through a period of public consultation before receiving final government approval, the EIA will focus on the design and impact of the nine planned ReGen facilities.
“It’s not just the energy recovery facility, the process assesses ReGen in its totality… all nine facilities as part of the overall ReGen project,” he explained.
The meetings will be held on Tuesday, 8 June, at the John Gray Memorial Hall; on Wednesday, 9 June, at the Harquail Theatre; and on Thursday, 10 June, at the Breakers Civic Centre. All meetings will run from 7pm to 9pm.
The EIA is a two-fold consultation process which commences with the terms of reference and, later, with an environmental statement.
Questions and comments coming out of the draft terms of reference public consultation are all compiled and reviewed by the DoE in consultation with project team, McAree explained.
“Dart has a consortium of consultants that are working on the technical aspects of this project and the government has a consultant team that supports them in reviewing those and reviewing the EIA documentation,” he said.
The final terms of reference will act as a road map for the Dart-led consortium to conduct the necessary studies that will form the basis of an environmental statement, a Dart release on the process stated.
The environmental statement will also be subject to a public consultation period before it is finalised.
“Next, the Environmental Assessment Board established specifically for the project, will prepare a final recommendation to accompany the ‘Environmental Statement’ for consideration by the government in making a final decision on the project facility designs and specifications,” the Dart release added.
McAree said the entire EIA study process can take up to 12 months, but the project team is looking forward to getting the ball rolling.
“There’s a major project plan that flows from concluding the EIA, transitioning straight into planning and boots and shovels in the ground. Our ambition is that we will have operating facilities by the middle of 2024,” he added.
The draft terms of reference will be available online at www.doe.ky from 31 May or hard copies can be reviewed at the following locations:
- Government Administration Building, 133 Elgin Avenue, George Town
- George Town Public Library, 68 Edward Street
- Teacher Redley Powery Library, 182 Reverend Blackman Rd, West Bay
- Bodden Town Library, 69 Bodden Town Road
- District Administration, Government Administration Building, Cayman Brac
- National Trust House, Little Cayman