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Activists rail against Environment destruction as North Coast rivers languish

Puerto Plata.- The extraction of materials authorized by the Environment Ministry poses a grave threat to the Veragua and Yásica rivers in Puerto Plata and Espaillat provinces, an oft-repeated complaint by environmentalist and Cabarete Development Association spokesman Michel Gay-Crosier.

He warns that the extraction also harms area beaches, especially Cabarete.

The extractions also drew a quick outcry from environmentalist Eleuterio Martinez on Tuesday, when he questioned the Environment Ministry’s authorization to haul away the aggregates.

“It seems absurd that while Environment minister Bautista Rojas personally visits the area and orders a halt to extractions, deputy ministers and technicians arrive shortly after and allow it to continue,” Martinez said on Colorvision Channel 9.

In the case of the Veragua River, Gay-Crosier said its riverbed has been devastated, as the result of as many as three Environment permits.

Gay-Crosier, who also heads the Cabarete and Sosúa Environmental Protection Association (Asoprocaso), said two lawsuits against companies extracting from the Yásica and Veragua rivers were filed last year, the first in Puerto Plata and the second in Moca but noted that they proceed slowly.

River damage

One of the complaints was filed against the company Dualma, which has one of the permits and, according to the environmental group, has hauled away hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of sand.

Gay-Crosier, who has waged a battle against those who harm the environment  and managed to get Cabarete district manager Gabriel Antonio Mora (Canoa) suspended and brought to court in 2014, said all the permits issued to the aggregate companies didn’t count on any environmental impact study by Environment’s Soil and Water Dept.

“We as an association defend the Veragua and Yásica rivers, because they are the main sources of sand for Cabarete beach which has a strong erosion,” he said quoted by,do, adding that Environment’s lack of action stokes “the complicity of local authorities.”

Source: DT

March 31, 2016

Category: DR News |

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