Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Is EMA a puppet for the Government?

Letter to the Editor
April 10, 2007

After deafening public outcry from all sectors of the national community and conclusive research studies from eminent environmentalists on the dangers of the operations of smelter plants in south Trinidad, the Environmental  Management Authority (EMA) had the audacity to grant a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) to Alutrint! How insensitive, disrespectful and blatantly insulting this agency could be to people's constitutional right in wanting a healthy, chemical-free environment!

It is indeed strange to know that the EMA's dreaded decision came mere hours after environmentalists met with the Patrick Manning-led Cabinet's Energy Committee to present their case against the smelters. Based on this strange sequence of events, many questions can now be asked of the PNM Government's role in EMA's decision. Is the EMA independent and impartial in its decision-making? Or is it a heavy-handed puppet of the State? Â

According to the Town and Country Planning Act there are zoned areas for industrial development. Was there a compromise and/or breach of this law because of the whims and fancies of a higher authority?

Given the overwhelming public outrage over this latest development, the country demands honest answers from the Minister of Energy, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Planning and Development.

Colin Ghouralal


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