BEST Appeals Decision On Landfill In Dockyard

July 15, 2015

The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] has appealed the decision by the Development Applications Board to grant final approval for landfill in Dockyard related to building for the America’s Cup, saying over 368,000 cubic meters of fill will be required “without adequate environmental impact assessment.”

BEST’s appeal focuses on:

  • A] landfill of 11 acres in the South Basin [Dockyard],
  • B] interim uses of the landfill [America’s Cup [AC35/ACBDA] Event Village], and
  • C] end uses of the landfill – Department of Marine & Ports operations, a Commercial Marine Facility [boatyard] and Marina.

BEST President Stuart Hayward said their formal grounds of appeal are:

1. The submitted Environmental Impact Study supplied by Bermuda Water Consultants [BWC EIStudy] was flawed in procedure and content.

2. The Department of Planning [DOP] failed to convey to the Development Applications Board [DAB] that the BWC EIStudy was a grossly inexpert and deficient document, and that the BEC EIS Addendum [an emergency Environmental Impact Statement sponsored by ACBDA and conducted by Bermuda Environmental Consultants] did not fix all the flaws nor correct all the failings. Despite the deficiencies, the DOP erroneously conveyed to the DAB that the BWC EIStudy was an assessment capable of supporting the application.

3. The DOP failed to apprise the DAB that the EIS Addendum of record addressed only the landfill aspect of the application and NOT those of the interim uses and end uses, and concurrently misled DAB into believing that the BWC EIStudy had merit for assessing the interim and end uses.

4. The DAB failed to request an additional Addendum that dealt with the interim and end use aspects of the development and, by not making such a request, the DAB failed in its obligation to procure the best information and to be fully informed when making its decision, as required by the Supreme Court.

5. The DOP failed to convey to the DAB and the DAB failed to include key conditions recommended by the Bermuda Environmental Consulting, Ltd. [BEC], the applicant’s designated environmental consultants.

6. The DOP failed in its duty to fully inform the DAB by failing to convey to the DAB key concerns of government agency consultants, including the Departments of Conservation Services and Environmental Protection.”

Mr Hayward added, “Of greater concern in this project is that the fill being dredged for the development is not part of the application. Over 368,000 cubic meters of fill will be required, most of it will be dredged from the south channel, from Shelly Bay to Grassy Bay, without adequate environmental impact assessment.

“These grounds of appeal point to serious flaws in a development is huge, complex and important — especially to the America’s Cup, which BEST supports wholeheartedly. The America’s Cup [AC35] is depending on the landfilled acreage on which to build their event village.

“Unfortunately, WEDCO’s end use plans, which are not needed for the America’s Cup event itself, and in fact can’t be realized until after AC35 abandons the site, were piggy-backed on to the landfill and received final approval that should have been denied. We alerted ACBDA and the DOP that this was a problem but the application was pushed through anyway.

“Bermuda should be at the forefront in protecting its own environment. This decision is a betrayal of that obligation to the people of Bermuda. BEST had hoped to head off delays to the America’s Cup preparation and a public battle.

“Early talks with ACBDA’s leader Mike Winfield were encouraging. However, WEDCo’s insistence on linking their insufficiently assessed long term or end use plans to the America’s Cup has resulted in this impasse.

“There is still a way out, a way that will minimise delay for the America’s Cup. The appeal is against all three parts of the proposal, the landfill, the interim uses for the land-filled site, and the end uses for the land-filled site.

“The first two parts could, with a little effort, meet acceptable environmental and procedural standards and BEST has pledged to work with ACBDA to expedite resolution of the outstanding issues for the landfill and interim uses.

“However, the third part — the proposed end uses — is untested. Essentially WEDCO wants to convert protected marine habitat into an industrial wasteland. WEDCO promised public meetings but that hasn’t happened, So the public isn’t adequately informed nor has their input been properly sought. WEDCO has not presented a tested case for the end uses.

“In any case, those end uses are not required until AC35 departs in 2017 or later. Therefore, there should be proper public consultation about the end uses and an independently vetted EIA should be conducted, and that part of the application should be re-submitted to the DAB.

“Our appeal is now before the Minister and we call on him to do the right thing for the people of Bermuda, our environment and our future.”

Mr Hayward added that details of these grounds of appeal and other related documents will soon will be available on www.best.org.bm.

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Comments (34)

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  1. Terry says:

    All Stuart needs to do is go the HOA each day for a month and he can collect all the verbal crap and ‘mud slinging ‘ and leave the south channel alone.
    That should take care of the 300,000 + of fill.

    Time for a rum.

    • George says:

      Sounds like you already started on the rum before you wrote your comment Terry – as no part of it addressed the information in the article at all!

  2. The best thing for B.E.S.T. to do in this case
    / situation Mr. Stuart Hayward is get out of the way of “progress”. I can’t see where this is going to hinder the “Island”. As a matter of fact after all done, Bermuda will have uses of the landfill – Department of Marine & Ports operations, a Commercial Marine Facility [boatyard] and Marina.
    Now show me/us what’s wrong with that “picture” Mr. Stuart Hayward / B.E.S.T.?

    • George says:

      Its called ensuring your Government follows the rules Mr. Raymond Ray! Read the article, where it is quite clear what the focus of BEST’s appeal to the Minister is – the DoP and DAB are guilty, according to BEST, of not following their own guidelines/policies. BEST is trying to keep the Government honest and ensure that both the policy and legislation that govern them are followed. It has nothing to do with challenging progress it has everything to do with holding the Government and the Quangos (WEDCO in this case) to account!

  3. bluebird says:

    And now do you understand why it is so exspensive to live in Bermuda.
    Maybe best should have been around a couple of hundred years ago to have stopped the building Dockyard and St Georges and Hamilton for that matter.
    That right Stuart go ahead bye and screw it up so that Americas Cup never comes back to Bermuda.
    As we think that we are the centre of the world and they need us.

    • First of all, we don’t want to “stop” the America’s’ Cup. We want to assist the America’s Cup in protecting our environment and adding to the reputation for environmental stewardship they earned at AC34 in San Francisco.
      Isn’t Bermuda worth doing it right?

      • Terry says:

        Stuart.
        It’s not like they are shaving hills and valleys and lime stone quarries.
        This is sediment.
        It will be contained.

        Get your bouys in Tourism to anchor off the ‘Finger/s’ and idle for a few hours and push it all up in the area.

        If they took the stuff from Morgans Point and put it there you …..never mind.

        Another empty vessel that’s needs scraping.

      • Jeremy Deacon says:

        Well said, Stuart. I recently wrote a feature about how green the AC will be. I interviewed Stuart and at all times he was extremely supportive of the event. Stuart has quite rightly expressed his concerns but he has also said he is willing to work closely with all parties to get a resolution. The AC wants to leave a ‘green’ legacy, Stuart wants to protect our environmental legacy.

      • frank says:

        Stuart. Stop all this. Dam stupid bs

  4. Sabotage says:

    WEDCo wants to shut down a living museum boat slip and make a new one so they can justify their jobs and make more work and money.. When will we realize that what we have is sometimes better, and that we can’t afford brand new everything, and that their proposals are not thought out, WEDCo is holding the country to ransom because of political pressure to appease to america’s Cup. BEST has done well to offer a way forward without disrupting the AC progress that is needed. WEDCo should do the right thing and withdraw their personal agenda which, in my opinion, is a huge, expensive mistake anyway. WEDCo appear arrogant pushing for their agenda which we don’t know about because they never told or consulted with the public. Stop WEDCo from holding the America’s Cup ransom, and stop WEDCo from building an ugly, expensive heavy industry end use in our premium cruise ship destination!

    • Progress says:

      Sabotage is an apt name for you as you appear to want to see this project fail.

      This plan that you say is a personal agenda of WEDCo is in fact a proposal that has the support of the present government and it was actually proposed by the former PLP Government.

      So this is something that both PLP and OBA agree too but you want to sabotage it. UNBELIEVABLE!

  5. smh says:

    So We’re gonna destroy the environment for the America’s Cup to come and when they leave the environmental damage will REMAIN.

    I’m all for the America’s Cup, but the fact that they are allowed to come here and the Government gives them the permission to do absolutely whatever they want shows just how far they will go to take care of their old boys.

    • Terry says:

      Ships use this channel all the time.
      Your point is what.
      Your food comes down the south channel.

      Wharfage fees et al end up at Kings Point.

      Go figure.

    • George says:

      This issue has nothing to do with the America’s Cup Event Authority or the potential environmental impact that the America’s Cup event will have on the Island. This has everything to do with the WEDCO (the owners of the South Basin where the Americas Cup Event Village will be based) and how they have tried to use the Americas Cup Event to bully/scare the Government/country into getting approval for a planning proposal to develop the South Basin (which was proposed long before the bid for the America’s Cup was even considered) WEDCO like any other entity on the Island are bound by planning policy/legislation which requires them to carry out Environmental Impact Statements on proposed development of their property. According to BEST (and by proxy the ACBDA as they felt obliged to submit a new EIA) WEDCO’s EIA is flawed and needs redoing – its as simple as that!

  6. Terry says:

    Because it will be there when your dead.
    Your point.

  7. BEST Plan for Bemuda, DON'T DO ANYTHING! says:

    So, I’m confused, BEST say that support the landfill for the Americas Cup, but once the infill has been done, “WEDCO wants to convert protected marine habitat into an industrial wasteland.”

    The land will have already been created and WEDCo will be constructing a marine maintenance yard that will create jobs. WEDCO will not be building anything on a protected marine habitat, they will be building on LAND!

    • Whatever will go on the landfill site needs to be assessed for its environmental impact. There would be a different impact for a boatyard vs. a cultural centre. At the moment, WEDCo is converting productive and protected marine habitat that belongs to the Bermudian people into an industrial zone for WEDCo’s benefit, without a proper environmental impact assessment and without consulting the public. It may be that a marine maintenance yard would be a good use of the landfill site once the America’s Cup leaves, maybe not. The public is entitled to have a say and part of the information that would help the public in assessing the impact is a proper EIA.

      ACBDA had to sponsor an emergency EIA for the landfill, Why wasn’t the marine maintenance yard give the same treatment?

      • Then Mr. Stuart Hayward / B.E.S.T. would you agree that the redevelopment taking place at the former N.O.B. is no different? Aren’t they/wouldn’t they be dredging as well?
        In life one must, (at times) step back in order to progress. I believe this is a win – win project and a time to step back so as we on a whole may progress.

        • George says:

          Ray Ray – I would encourage you to actually read the article and understand BEST’s position before commenting further! Your lack of understanding of the reason for BESTs appeal to the Minister is quite evident in your posts…………. or have you now become so tainted by posting daily that you have become a convert to the school of “let’s not let the facts get in the way of a vexatious post’?

  8. Chris says:

    “Of greater concern in this project is that the fill being dredged for the development is not part of the application. Over 368,000 cubic meters of fill will be required, most of it will be dredged from the south channel, from Shelly Bay to Grassy Bay”

    That is simply not true.

    • George says:

      So what is the truth according to Chris……….Chris?

    • Which part is simply not true, Chris?
      That the dredging is going to be done?
      That the dredging is not part of the application?
      That the amount required is 368,000 cubic meters?
      That most of the fill will be dredged from the south channel?
      That the length of channel dredging proposed to supply the fill is from Shelly Bay to Grassy Bay?

      • cole says:

        The fill is not coming from dredging South channel. DEP have said so

        • Stuart Hayward says:

          Actually, the source for the fill had not been confirmed at the time of the application, as is shown in the excerpt below from the EIS Addendum prepared by Bda Environmental Consultants(BEC). Originally the fill was to be sourced from scheduled dredging of the North Channel. When it was discovered that the South Basin landfill needed three times more than North Channel dredging would provide, an “opportunistic dredging” scheme of the South Channel was concocted. BEST supports the precautionary approach adopted by BEC.

          “Sourcing of Fill: 
The EIS originally assumed that all fill requirements would be met by the dredging works associated with upgrades to the North Channel. When it became clear that the volume to be realised through that work is approximately 100,000m3, additional dredging of the South Channel to address a previously recognised need for increased underkeel clearance was proposed. This opportunistic dredging activity is capable of meeting this shortfall. The alternate approach of importing granitic aggregate to serve as fill material is currently being investigated. This would reduce local environmental impacts and simplify construction. As this has not yet been confirmed as a viable option, the precautionary approach to impact assessment requires that the more impactful local dredging option is considered as the source for the purposes of this Addendum.” – [BEC: EIS Addendum, p.4]

          • cole says:

            More likely is dredging of Town Cut and St Geo harbour

            • cole says:

              The yellow Jack-up barge at South camber now was coring in St geo area earlier this summer. It is rumored Hen Island would be removed

          • Chris says:

            Right, so it was considered, and rejected. So no need to raise it as if it were and done deal. That’s just stirring for the sake of it.

      • Chris says:

        South Channel will not be dredged, nor will Grassy Bay.

        • George says:

          …………….because Chris the Omniscient says its so?! What is your opinion based on Chris? Why don’t you answer Stuart Hayward’s questions above in response to your original post?

        • Chris & Cole,

          You are both pretty adamant on this point, that:
          “The fill is not coming from dredging South channel. DEP have said so”

          I haven’t come across that information in my extensive reading on the subject, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want readers here to be repeating that declaration based merely on your anonymous say so. It would be helpful if you would cite where the DEP or anyone else has said this, so we can check it out for ourselves before a) believing it, and b) repeating it to others.

          • cole says:

            Ask DEP yourself, or ask them to make a statement. Why rely on your “extensive reading”? When I asked them, they made it very clear South Channel was not an option. WEDCO said it was an option, but they are not to sole driver of national policy (hopefully).

    • Spectator says:

      Quite correct.

  9. Greenrock is misleading the public says:

    This is not just a WEDCO initiative, it was proposed by the former PLP government and even tabled by them in the House Of Assemble in June of 2010.
    It is an idea and project that is jointly supported across political lines.