Curaçao Chronicle: ‘The government is challenging environmental foundations to take legal action’

WILLEMSTAD – According to a press release from the environmental organizations SMOC and SHZC, they are obliged to inform the community that the government does not respect its own environmental regulations. “Again the government refused to provide the environmental foundations and the experts appointed by the Court a copy of the environmental reports of 2014 (and the first half of 2015), which were supposed to be turned in by both the Isla Refinery and BOO in accordance with their Nuisance Permit from the Ministry of Public Health.”

SMOC and SHZC have an interest in being able to dispose of the relevant reports, also to better establish to what extent residents downwind of ISLA and BOO have been exposed to toxic substances emitted into the air, and to what extent the standards thereby have been violated.

“A few weeks ago, the Minister of Public Health in an email message between himself, his top officials and SMOC already admitted that his Minister is legally required – on request – to provide the requested reports to those organizations having an interest therein. Yet the Ministry refuses to do so,” according to SMOC.

SMOC and SHZC point to the fact that the government in this way itself provokes a legal action, after which the same government publicly complains about the danger of lawsuits in the future and alleged negotiations on the refinery. “The fact is that the government itself, through its non-transparent and obstructive attitude, is provoking lawsuits and brings the future of the refinery at risk,” the environmental organizations stated in their press release.

Source: Curaçao Chronicle

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