Monday, August 07, 2006

Borehole Alert - Villagers protest Alcoa invasion

For Immediate Release
8.36 am

We have just received word out of Chatham this morning that work on the Trintoplan boreholes project has begun. Reports are that some land owners have given permission for survey pickets to be erected on their property. Other landowners who had not given permission came and discovered workers on their land and immediately called for them to stop.
Expert sources have advised the CCEPG that the boreholes, rather than being the innocent geo technical exercise Trintoplan claims it is, will be the first step in clearing the way for the coming of the alcoa smelter, although the CEC process has not yet begun.
Members of the Trintoplan and alcoa teams have been surveying the village for just over a week. At a meeting in the Chatham Community Centre two Saturdays ago several villagers reported running Trintoplan people off their land.
As hundreds of dead fish washed up on the beach last week, surveying began on the land and the EMA announced sotto voce that the alcoa EIA was out for public comment.
The consultation for the boreholes remains incomplete although at the last meeting the community demanded answers from the main stakeholders in this alcoa smelter project. alcoa and Trintoplan officials have been telling land owners that they don't need Environmental Clearance from the EMA to conduct soil testing. This is indeed so, although the residents and land owners of Chatham are not being told exactly what the soil testing is for.
The Chatham/Cap de Ville Environmental Protection Group sees this as a very grave development and this morning have cancelled a press briefing which was to take place at OWTU's Paramount Building this morning at 11.
This morning, Bechtel, alcoa, Trintoplan representatives are in the community with a security detail. The people of Chatham/Cap de ville continue to be concerned and increasingly disgusted at the disregard for process.
alcoa's continued attempts to psychologically intimidate members of the Chatham village with their scientific mumbo jumbo and their well oiled PR machine must be seen as for the shameful and disgusting exercise it is.
They are trying to say to the people of Chatham and Trinidad and Tobago as a whole that resistance is futile.
The Rights Action Group stands in solidarity with the people of Chatham and appeal to local company Trintoplan to do the right thing. We also stand with the community in their continued calls for open and transparent discussions on the implications of this aluminum smelter project on the people of this country and the world as a whole.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having just read all the posts one issue rings throughout all. There does not appear to be any support for the community by the authorities.

Unfortunately, I do have the impression that the EMA like most other agencies in Trinidad & Tobago, which should be there to protect the interests of the public do not have the authority to do so.

Perhaps we need to have agencies which are not politically linked but are independent bodies with the power to take action regarding its respective cause.

Untill then it is up to us to fight our battles as individuals. In this case it is fantastic that they have come together as a group, as a community; it is time to act as a nation.

7:37 PM  

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