BEST Appeal Of South Basin Proposal Dismissed

July 26, 2015

The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] said that their appeal for the South Basin landfill and development scheme was dismissed by the Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy.

“BEST had hoped to have the end-use portion of the proposal de-coupled from the rest of the development.  This would have provided for public consultation and diligence prior to the end-uses being determined,” the environmental group said.

“BEST is now consulting with our legal advisors, and considering all remaining avenues available to us to have this proposal revised so as to leave a legacy that will do credit to Bermuda and to the America’s Cup.

BEST had 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.”

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Comments (8)

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  1. Jus' Askin' says:

    When will You people get it?
    They (OBA) Really Don’t Care :-(

    • Buzby says:

      … and neither do the PLP, so somebody has to.
      BEST has a lot more integrity and consistency going for it than either of our political parties. They are also brave enough to keep fighting even when others lose faith.
      So what’s your point?

    • TonyC says:

      What in that story is it that the OBA don’t care about???

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    Sorry BEST, not this time. The whole dockyard area became brownfield when the Admiralty constructed it over 150 years ago. The corner where the filling in is going has never really been used as it is quite shallow. Being filled to the deep area will put it to use.

    The AC clock is ticking. There is no time for the whole project to be held in limbo as appeals & talk go back & forth.

  3. Molly says:

    You are dismissed…that will be all…

  4. Stuart Hayward says:

    Triangle Drifter wrote: “The whole dockyard area became brownfield when the Admiralty constructed it over 150 years ago.”

    BEST response: Just because you label the area as “brownfield” does not mean that a) it is environmentally useless or b) environmental oversight should be abandoned. The America’s Cup people were given an expectation that everything was in place for their event village. But that was not the case. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) done for the project suffered from, “numerous critical shortcomings associated with both the content and the process by which the original EIA was developed. These shortcomings present an unacceptably HIGH RISK OF DELAYS arising from challenges to the permitting of this land fill and subsequent development WHICH MAY PREJUDICE DELIVERY OF THE AMERICA’S CUP.” Those are not my words, they are quotes from the emergency EIA sponsored at the last minute by America’s Cup BDA.

    Triangle Drifter wrote: “The corner where the filling in is going has never really been used as it is quite shallow. Being filled to the deep area will put it to use.”

    BEST response: That’s not correct, TD, that area is used by protected species of fish, turtles and plant life. According to the Benthic Habitat Mapping Project survey of the area “A number of commercially and recreational important fish and invertebrate species were observed … [t]he abundance of juveniles (fish) appeared high compared to other inshore waters….” If we don’t protect juvenile fish habitats we will have fewer adult fish for tourists to see and for us to eat.

    Environmental damage that can be avoided should be avoided. And the planned end-uses — that is, the plans for what happens to the South Basin after the America’s Cup has gone — haven’t been adequately assessed, so no one knows what the environmental damage will be or what can be avoided. Since these end-uses won’t come into play until two years or longer from now, there is plenty of time for this part of the project to be done right. Getting this part right doesn’t have to hold up “the whole project”, unless they keep trying to piggy-back the end-uses on to the America’s Cup. With or without pressure from the America’s Cup, local leaders can make this impediment go away right away: send WEDCo back to the drawing board for a credible EIS, and the stumbling block (of their own making, by the way) will be cleared away.

    Actually, trying to sell the project as being “held in limbo” is a red herring. The pressure isn’t on for the end-uses; they don’t come into play for two years or longer. Piggy-backing the end-uses on to the America’s Cup is a crafty ploy but there is no “AC clock ticking” for the end-uses. There is an old adage that goes, ““A failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine”.

    We have seen how “haste makes waste” has played out recently in other large projects. The America’s Cup will be delayed only if they are forced to drag the environmentally flawed end-uses in their wake.

  5. Bill Stephens says:

    Pure rhetoric and techno-mumbo-jumbo! I can tell you with every surety that if AC does not go off on time and as planned Bermuda’s economy and our reputation to stage anyhting other than a concert is in peril!

    If you only looked at people like you look at trees and rockfish then we would be together on this one. BEST needs to get out of the way and let AC happen – pure and simple!