Chalillo Dam

Reason to rethink Belize hydro dam

Jennifer Wells
Toronto Star
December 10, 2003

There’s time yet for Britain’s Privy Council to grant a Christmas wish
to an indefatigable group of ecologists.

They don’t ask for much. The Belize Association of Non-Government
Organizations simply seeks a fresh environmental assessment on a
proposed hydroelectric dam that Canadian operator Fortis Inc. is busily
constructing on the Macal River, flooding more than 1,000 hectares of
Belizean rainforest.
Two days of Privy Council hearings in London last week can be summed up
in the concise phrase of the unnamed law lord who pondered the
proceedings and wondered why all the relevant facts pertinent to the
dam construction had to be “squeezed out in dribs and drabs.” Excellent
question: Why?
Here’s a big fat fact that stands out. While Fortis’ commissioned
environmental assessment asserted that the groundstone in the area in
question is granite, and thereby just the thing for dam construction,
the foundation material has since been proved to be … not granite,
but sandstone. Fortis has offered verbal assurances to concerned
environmentalists, the people of Belize and the Privy Council that this
distinction matters not. Ergo, all systems go. (excerpt)

Categories: Chalillo Dam

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