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Waterloo takes aim at Department of Environment, National Environmental Appraisal Committee

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Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2021. 11:42 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Waterloo Investments Holdings Limited has stated that it will “fully exercise all its available rights including but not limited to the appeal process under the Environmental Laws of Belize, judicial review… and treaty rights under the Bilateral Investments Treaty between Belize and the United Kingdom,” in response to the decision of the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) to recommend to the Department of the Environment (“DOE”) to deny environmental clearance of Waterloo’s proposed cruise port terminal and expansion of its bulk cargo facility.

It sees the NEAC decision as one “clearly tainted with illegality and irrationality,” and rejects claims that its submission of the Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) was not complete even with requests for various technical and scientific information.

“The Board of Waterloo is satisfied that NEAC’s denial of environmental clearance and the DOE’s rubberstamping of that denial is fundamentally flawed and comes against the backdrop of provable requests for bribes from certain NEAC members and a discredited DOE whose Chief Environmental Officer was recently obliged to retire for highly questionable decisions related to another cruise port facility under his watch.”

Waterloo also threatens “to seek full disclosure under these legal processes of all submissions made by the competing cruise port projects being developed by Stakebank Enterprise Ltd (“Port Coral”) and Portico Enterprises Ltd (“Port of Magical Belize”), to the DOE and NEAC with respect to their applications for environmental clearance, to ensure that Waterloo has been granted fair and equitable treatment by these bodies in the context of its own environmental clearance application.”

The statement ends with this quote from CEO Stewart Howard: “Despite this disappointing setback, Waterloo remains fully committed to this project. Waterloo has already spent in excess of US$5 million on the development of its cruise and bulk cargo facility in Belize and will deploy such resources as are necessary to ensure that its US$200 million project which was encouraged and promoted by the Government of Belize, is brought to fruition. Waterloo will also not be deterred by those who have sought to obstruct and prevent the progression of its project by corrupt practices.”

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