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Waterloo files claim against Government seeking overturn of amended EIA Regulations

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2023. 9:57 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Attorney Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith has confirmed that he has filed on behalf of Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited a fixed date claim against Minister of Sustainable Development Orlando Habet and the Attorney General.

Waterloo is challenging the recently amended Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations regarding to the composition of the tribunal scheduled to hear its appeal of the Department of the Environment’s rejection of its EIA for the proposed cruise ship and expanded cargo facility project at the Port of Belize Limited.

The claim seeks declarations that the Regulations were amended in bad faith and for improper purpose, specifically to put Waterloo at a disadvantage in the hearing; that the appointments of Lucy Fleming as private sector representative and Professor Terry Hughes as environmental expert are improper as both are tainted with bias; that the claimants are denied protection under the law by these decisions; and that the Regulations as amended should be overturned, and costs.

The affidavit of Waterloo CEO Stewart Howard is attached in which he contends, among other things, that other cruise port companies have been granted unfair advantages by prior governments which Waterloo does not have and has not sought; that the Government has exhibited particular bias against Lord Michael Ashcroft’s business concerns and investments of which Waterloo is one; that the tribunal as constituted was proper for the proceedings to come before taking into account the alleged conflict of interest of Private Sector Senator Kevin Herrera; and that Fleming and Professor Hughes have both been publicly opposed to, respectively, further cruise development in Belize and dredging near coral reefs which the Port project intends to encompass.

Further, Howard accuses the DOE of throwing up roadblocks to its project which Stake Bank and Port of Magical Belize do not have, including submitting a second EIA after the first was rejected for various reasons, only to see it rejected again for reasons which Howard said would not pass scrutiny.

No timeline has been set for the hearing of the claim.


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