BEST To Pursue Resolution Through The Courts

August 10, 2015

The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] said they have “decided to pursue resolution of the South Basin landfill and related issues through the Courts.”

BEST appealed the decision by the Development Applications Board to grant final approval for landfill in Dockyard, saying over 368,000 cubic meters of fill will be required “without adequate environmental impact assessment,” however their appeal was dismissed.

A statement from the environmental group said, “While we have made every effort we can think of to come to an agreement that would satisfy all concerned, there are aspects of this development that violate standards of ‘best practice’ to such a degree that we would be deemed negligent if we were to let them pass.

“We wish to make it clear at the outset that we support the America’s Cup [AC35]. As a leading environmental NGO in Bermuda we have tried to fulfill our obligations with minimum disruption to AC35’s compressed timetable.

“We have met several times with ACBDA head Mike Winfield and or members of his team and have jointly attempted to reach resolution on those portions of the application that directly affect the America’s Cup organization. Unfortunately those attempts were not successful.

“At the heart of the dispute is the Environmental Impact Study [EIS] conducted for the project that was found to be “critically flawed”, so much so that ACBDA sponsored an emergency “Addendum EIS” just a few days before the application was to be vetted.

“However, this emergency EIS categorically only covered the landfill, a mere one-third of the project’s components. The interim uses of the landfill [to house the America’s Cup “Event Village” — until AC35 departs], and the end-uses of the landfill [a commercial boatyard, consolidate Marine and Ports operations and a marina for luxury yachts”] were categorically not covered by the emergency addendum EIS and inadequately covered by the original EIS.

“That state of affairs is unacceptable. There is more than enough time to fully and properly assess the proposed end-uses for the 11.1 acres being landfilled. The interim-use as the Event Village for AC35 also needs some level of assessment for all that will be required to accommodate the transport, entertainment and waste of the anticipated throngs of people who will be wooed to use the space to enjoy the AC35 activities.

“AC34 held in San Francisco in 2012 proceeded under the banner of several environmental oversight regimes. Does Bermuda deserve any less? We think not. AC34 prides itself as the first carbon-free America’s Cup. Should the America’s Cup environmental reputation be tarnished because Bermuda won’t do its due diligence? We should hope not.

“We invite the Bermuda government to show the AC35 sponsors and participants that we care no less about Bermuda than the City Managers cared about San Francisco for AC34. We encourage the sailors and managers of AC35 to intervene if necessary to ensure that their legacy reputation in Bermuda equals or surpasses what they achieved in San Francisco.

“Further, as it relates to both the interim- and end-uses for this new landfilled area, we urge the Bermuda public to insist that existing protections for our environment be upheld, not sidestepped.

“Over the next few weeks BEST will post statements to further explain this complex issue, justify our stance and offer an alternative.”

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  1. Mr.Stuart Hayward and other members of B.E.S.T. why now? Each time the Government attempts to move the Island and its citizen ahead they are interrupted by someone...
    If dredging seems to be a problem then I suggest "someone" pay for ship/s to transport a load of boulders to fill in where required and then, use concrete to top it off.
    Why can't that be done as oppose to, "placing (possibly) another stick in the spokes of progress"?

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    • I would imagine all of the owners of the cement business would be quite pissed off with the B.E.S.T interruptions?

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      • ReALLyBettty says:

        Ray, Funny you did not say this when BEST objected to many, many, projects of the former government. Best did the same to the PLP Government. Is Mr. Hayward ensuring that BEST PRACTICES are been carried out in Bermuda to protect our Environment? Or is BEST ensuring that regardless of which government is in place BEST PRACTICES is done regardless?

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        • As a matter of fact, I have supported / support many issues B.E.S.T. have fought for. So please, stop with your crap!
          I would imagine you are one of them that when seeing my name you automatically oppose anything I write.
          I'm curious, does my name taste like, "poo-poo" when you mention it? Furthermore, I do sign my birth given name unlike some other "ReALLyBettty"

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          • ReaLLyBettty says:

            Your BlindfaithfulnessdiehardNess shows up everytime Ray....lol......every think that's why folks dislike your comments. ..

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    • Actually, Mr. Ray, the revised plan is to import the necessary material, so you're on target there. And we're not trying to put a stick in the spokes, just fix a wobbly wheel.

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      • Thanks Mr. Stuart Hayward...Good luck it's my bottom-line mate

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      • Terry says:

        "a wobbly wheel".

        Since when did you and your's learn to ride.

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      • Bill Stephens says:

        Complete stupidity! There are other areas where the materials can come from including Morgans Point. Why are we not leverging that option or the East End hotel project site? And would materals from another area on the world not introduce the potential for contamination of our good Island? Why not take from what we already have and protect any impact due to organisms in the stuff from overseas - wait - I know - its because someone is making the $ from bringing the stuff in! And why could we just not host all of this at Morgans Point - enough space there and it is ready to go!!!!

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  2. Pookie Boo says:

    Tree huggers give it a break,you lot are starting to become to political. Do I need an environmental assessment overtime I cut my grass. There will be a sheet pile barrier to hold the offending material in place. I doubt any seepage and the area proposed isn't a eco zone to the best of my limited knowledge.I have not heard of any endangered species or for that fact significant marine life in that habitat. hope you have lots of money for court costs, why don't you just go strait to the Privy Council. Don't seem to recall your objection to imported rock ( granite i think) to support airport retaining.

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    • impressive. says:

      You do know that trees co exist with us, and they provide the oxygen that we breath in.. #treehugmeback

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    • Bermuda says:

      Apparently part of the area they are reclaiming contains some of the richest turtle grass and one of the most important juvenile Grouper nesting grounds in our waters. Although apparently the land reclamation is "a done deal" and I don't think this is what BEST is objecting to, it is important to always consider the broader consequences. In other words, don't be too surprised when it becomes more difficult to find our beloved Rockfish on menus...

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  3. San George says:

    About time - this is the Steward and B.E.S.T. we know. Like all conservatives - I got mine; it ends here.

    What took so long?

    Quo Fata Ferunt

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  4. BEST TRANSPARENCY says:

    Is it BEST who will be taking this to court and possibly derailing the Americas Cup? Or is it Stuart Hayward?

    Who sits on the BEST committee? Please let us know so that if this project causes a problem with the Americas Cup and a national embarrassment to Bermuda for failing to deliver what was promised, at least we will know WHO to blame.

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    • BEST TRANSPARENCY says:

      BEST Board Members
      Stuart Hayward President
      Gail Fox Treasurer
      David Tavares Secretary
      Keren Lomas Chair
      Gail Miller Deputy Chair
      Gil Nolan
      David Wingate
      Celeste McLeod
      Carla Stempel

      Governance Committee
      Gil Nolan
      Michael Frith

      Management Committee
      Susan Amos Quinn
      Alaina Cubbon
      Jennifer Flood
      Stuart Hayward
      Frances Marshall
      Harry Masters
      Douglas Outerbridge
      Andrew Rothwell
      Megan Sutcliffe - Jnr Member
      Jessica Tannock

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      • Kim Smith says:

        and Kim Smith, Resources Administrator for BEST

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    • George says:

      This is not about impeding progress of the Americas Cup, its about holding the powers that be to account, getting them to follow the policies, rules and regulations that exist and were put in place to avoid this very scenario happening! According to BEST they have not been followed and thus they are going to appeal the Minister's decision in Court. This is not the first time that the Government has been called to account for their inability to follow their own policies, rules and regulations. Under the previous Government BEST appealed a Minister's decision to allow development of a conservation area in the courts and won. So the Government(in support of WEDCO) instead of trying to force a decision on the country which will affect us all in the long term should have done some due diligence on this matter, followed their own planning policy and it would not have come to this. Its as simple as that!

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    • Jeremy Deacon says:

      the 'blame' lies at the feet of those who got the application wrong in the first place....

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  5. North rock says:

    I'm a big supporter of BEST and Stuart. I'm a big supporter of the National Trust. But somewhere along the line these organizations seem to take such an extremist view that it is impossible to work with them.

    Stuart, no doubt you think you're right...but this is a battle you will never win...you don't have enough dirt and this looks more like an attempt to make a very expensive point rather than a seriously thought out decision

    No more donations from me.

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  6. Young Professional says:

    Mr. Raymond Ray,

    It was clear from the article that BEST has been involved from the get go, however AC35 shot callers have disregarded their attempts to raise the alarm of an inadequate Environmental Impact Assessment. Other developed nations have a vigorous EIA process for development, in Bermuda not so much. Since AC35 is being pushed by politicians and has bypassed the normal planning process, the checks and balances and technical officers have not adequately connected to this project. Bermuda is way too small to mess up, and we can't compromise our values for the sake of money. You can easily google how Valencia, Spain has a ghost city and infrastructure waste from AC 33, China has similar issues of deterioration and non-use from some of their Olympic venues. Bermuda's best natural capital is the environment and we should all make sure that AC35 is not doing long-term damage to the country. Put everything in the open and let the people decide.

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    • How much space will it require to develop the South Basin? First of all, the area is small in comparison to the other places you'd mentioned. Also, after the A.C. is over this area has plans laid-out already e.g. marina and boatyard. So really, what's the beef?

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      • Mr. Ray, one "beef" is: it's those already laid-out plans that have tried to skip over already laid-out procedures. If we won't follow our own rules about consultation and environmental protection, how can we expect our guests to do so.

        A marina and boatyard are industrial activities that will have an impact on nearby nursery areas for protected species of plants and fish. Those impacts need to be assessed and reduced or prevented. That's some of what we're pushing for.

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        • Wait a minute - wait a minute, don't we already have a boatyard in the area? Mr. Hayward (and others) of course, we all appreciate what has been accomplished over the years by B.E.S.T. yet up to this day we have foreign vessel, (of all types) docking in them same waters and no-one's complaining about the turbulence from their engines or the cement boat etc.
          As for marine life, the fish will swim away and the other marine life will pick-up in due time...[It's a form of evolution.]

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  7. aceboy says:

    Sorry Mr. Hayward...I lost a great deal of respect for you and your group after the protests at Southlands (which I thought were great at the time) but then the LACK of protest at the Grand Atlantic site. Instead of a 5 star development we ended up with a huge white elephant.

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    • Actually, Aceboy, the record will show that we DID get involved with the Grand Atlantic site — and took some heat for it. It pains me to think that you lost respect for BEST based on an erroneous judgment...

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      • Accurate says:

        Mr. Hayward is BESTs objection based on the lack of an EIS to examine any proposed future use of this area? It would seem that there is still plenty of time mobilize and derail any seriously detrimental future use of this area post 2017. If things don't take off as planned after AC35 this area will most likely be a disused slab of concrete.

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        • You are close to "accurate". However, the existing scheme has been given "FINAL" approval, without an acceptable EIS. Final approval. Without public consultation (we might need a cultural center or a junior cricket/football training facility more than an industrial boatyard), without adequate impact assessment (we don't know what harm an industrial boatyard might cause for nearby marine habitat), without sober reflection (final approval for the future use of the landfill was hurried up even though, as you say, there's plenty of time).

          This whole project was piggy-backed onto the America's Cup as though all of it was urgent. It's not. We ought to take our time and at least do the end uses right.

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          • Bill says:

            Just do AC at Morgans Point! Am I the only one on the planet? Why is Morgans Point being snubbed when it does not require any landfill or expensive materials to be brought to our Island? Lets just switch venues - what is the problem with that?

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      • aceboy says:

        What was the extent of the "involvement"? You drummed up enough support to kill off a tourism project and yet GA went ahead and became the disaster it now stands. You took HEAT for it? From whom? I didn't think HEAT would faze a dedicated environmentalist? I would have actually thought that HEAT would be fuel to a flame for you.

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  8. Toleratate says:

    Will this delay the project and raise the cost for completion over less time? I support BEST and their affords to safe guard the environment; however I recently read a blog that broke down the actual area and the creation years ago of the Dockyard. The Appeal was dismissed. I don't think Bermuda can risk screwing the preparations for the AC up. No, I'm not implying to bend rules, but the appeal was addressed and turned down.
    I also challenge this statement, “Over the next few weeks BEST will post statements to further explain this complex issue, justify our stance and offer an alternative.”
    If you have gone through an appeals process already; why can't we have this NOW? Why over the next few weeks? Was this not the information the appeal was based on? I would think this information would have already been comprised to present to the public.
    BEST is making it hard to support them on this one.

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    • George says:

      uhhhhh maybe its because it involves a pending court case against the Government and they don't want to prejudice that court case by revealing too much of their own position before they are ready to do so?!

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      • Toleratate says:

        Thanks George; I was actually gonna included that in my blog as I can not see why it can not be mentioned now? But, as all this was covered in the appeal (or should have been a major part of the appeal); I'm still skeptical.
        Guess we will eventually find out.

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  9. Triangle Drifter says:

    The whole Dockyard area is a marine 'brownfield' area.

    More often than not BEST stands on solid ground so to speak with their objections. IMO not this time, not by any stretch.

    Let it go BEST. Don't embarass yourselves or Bermuda. Don't lose support for future well founded objections from your supporters, financial or not.

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    • George says:

      A couple of points of clarification. This has absolutely nothing to do with the America's Cup Event Authority (the owners of the Americas Cup Event) - lets get that straight. It has everything to do with the Government under pressure from WEDCO, trying to force through a development of the South Basin on the back of the America's Cup, an event that has been acknowledged by all involved as being of significant importance to the Island. The original EIS was carried out by WEDCO years ago before an application for the America's Cup was even being considered. Its clear from the ACBDA's (as Government's representative body for the America's Cup) submission of a subsequent addendum EIS (in order to shore up the application) that the original EIS was indeed flawed and then the process by which the development application was assessed was also flawed according to the independent review of the case. So in a nut shell BEST are contesting the fact that there are multiple instances of those responsible not carrying out their responsibilities adequately enough!

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      • Bill Stephens says:

        Use Morgans Point! Bermuda has spent enough $ on cleaning Morgans Point up and its time to get our investment back! Stop with the WEDCO thing - Dockyard cannot handle the cars and parking alone where Morgans Point can easily. Do your research Bermuda and lets do the cost effective thing with the smallest environmental issues. We have already spent $ to fix up Morgans Point and make it safe. Shouldnt we benefit from that?

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  10. BEST left alone says:

    Based on our pressing need for economic focus with of course balanced environmental input, might I suggest BEST in this instance as being a Belligerent Entity Stymieing Togetherness?

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  11. Terry says:

    Some rocks, some fill, some concrete some steel.

    Lord all you BEST'IES........

    Not like it gonna be another Pembroke Dump where residence have had to put up with that crap even before I was born.

    The cruise ships churn up more four to six times week.

    Sorry Stew. You and your crew let this one alone for the good of the people who need it more than the makeup of your committees et al.

    Shalom.

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    • Water clarity says:

      And after the AC it will be an industrial boat yard with decades of heavy metal pollution spilled into a vibrant reef and seagrass system and an area of high juvenile grouper density. Look beyond 2017, like the EIA was supposed to do.

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  12. Bdaluv says:

    Thank you BEST for ensuring that Bermudians have something to leave our kids. Money will come and go by our environment cannot be replicated.

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  13. Terry says:

    There is nothing there folks.
    A Long Arm'. Some grass, some of those invasive trees.

    This is all grandstanding by Stewart and his people. Look at the makeup.

    Once you start to fill in the creatures move to Commissioners Point or Boaz Island area.

    Never read so much crap in my life from Stew.

    Where was he when Doc built the Dock et al.

    Wasting my time here.

    Next they and he will say that the long and deep draft fins on these sailboats will kill and injure turtles and spawning yalla gruntz.

    Go back to NOB and sort out the pollution there.

    Shalom.

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    • I'm another one that'll agree 100% with you Terry...

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      • George says:

        you know what they say....................ignorance is bliss! In your case it truly is so Terry and Raymond! Time to take your finger out and do a little more reading/research instead of blogging nonsense, so you look less ignorant the next time you post! The area just west of the South Basin is a well known juvenile fish and sea turtle area, so no its not a brownfield site and yes (even according to Government's own technical officers) these will likely be impacted by an industrial marina in the area!

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      • Impressive says:

        Mr. Ray, even if you agree with this gentleman, surely you don't agree with the rude manner in which he has attacked Mr. Hayward and the other members of Best. His post is rude, shallow and although you may agree with the point being made, I can't believe you agree 100% with the way he has presented his points..

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    • Impressive says:

      So an environmentalist group taking exception to a project which may destroy marine life is considered grandstanding?? Mercy.. If you feel your time is being "wasted" I am sure noone forced you to give you input.

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  14. Jeremy Deacon says:

    Stuart is right to do this - if laws/procedures have not been followed he is right to challenge them. If they have been done incorrectly blame those that did it in the first place.
    No-one should be able to ride roughshod.

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    • Spectator says:

      I suspect you don't know the details on this issue, Jeremy. Maybe do the research before assuming "Stuart is right to do this."

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  15. bluebird says:

    So there will be no rock fish on the menu,s. What a CROCK of you know what.
    Ah! WE ARE GOING TO BAN 90% of our fish Imports as the lical fish represent 10% or less of our supply.
    And stuart where are all the CEDAR TREES in the dockyard area,see if you can find "ONE".
    Is stewart and his crew going to PAY THE COSTS of this endevour or is it on the BACKS OF THE TAX PAYER AGAIN.
    It is BEST and lots of regulations that are still killing our ecconomy.
    The Civil Service keep thinking up regulations for you to follow because they think you are too stupid to make your own decisions besides it keeps them in a JOB and some of the folks think they are working for them.
    Still burning $220Million per year that is borrowed.We are not paying our own way,never mind the DEBT @$2.385BILLION .
    WHEN the Country goes broke we can all go live with these BEST GROUP and all the other BLOOD SUCKERS who have taken us down the tubes.

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    • Impressive says:

      Don't even know where to start with this idiotic tirade.. 'It is BEST and lots of regulations that are still killing our ecconomy." - This is the most incredible part of your tirade,, Mercy. Than you go and attack the Civil Service, lol,

      It seems Stuart loss all the allies he had prior to 2012,, With wishy washy friends like that, who needs enemies.

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  16. Terry says:

    Your history.

    Now go away and get a menial job.

    Personal?
    Damn right.

    And you wonder why people abhor your comments.

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  17. Bullseye says:

    This is very unfortunate. Bad timing. Wrong battle. The fill needs to proceed now. It's six months late in starting. We don't have the equipment or the rubble to do it right either. This is all blustering by BEST. Maybe they want a donation from Oracle.

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  18. San George says:

    AC organizers are experts - these people get what they want. Bermuda and the government can learn a lot from these people.

    Bermuda may not get what it wants but AC will get what they want.

    You go boy AC - I am impressed.

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  19. Paperboy says:

    Listening to Stuart Hayward on radio right now gives me a much broader perspective of what some of the challenges are with this application. BEST has a thoughtful and intentional position that demands accountability from WEDCO.

    WEDCO appears silent on issues of transparency. As a arm of the Bermuda Government- a QUANGO- are they not accountable to the people of Bermuda?

    WEDCO clearly feels -as expressed by their chairman - that they are a major developer and this smells like a property play - period. WEDCO comes across as a bully. WEDCO argue that Americas Cup is at risk and this is clearly is as a result of their actions.

    Should we not hold public meetings around the use of Bermuda's land as they create 11 new acres? How do we gain access to WEDCO's financial statements and the business plan behind this initiative?

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