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Group digs up more dirt on Dominican Republic coal-fired plants

Santo Domingo.- The National Committee to Combat Climate Change (CNLCC) on Friday said Dominican Republic State-owned electric utility’s (CDEEE) classification of documents on the coal-fired plants being built at Punta Catalina seeks to permanently hide the decisions by project officials from public scrutiny and from those who demand transparency.

“The CEO of the CDEEE, Ruben Jimenez Bichara classified as confidential the information on the Punta Catalina coal plants and the contract to plant mahogany trees near the plants on January 15, refusing to hand them over to the Lawyers for Environmental Protection Institute (ISAPROMA) as stipulated in Law No. 200-04 on Free Access to Public Information.

It said the administrative measure number 591signed by Jimenez Bichara, in its first resolution reads that “the information requested by the INSAPROMA in the application is classified as confidential, because of overriding public interest.”

“In the aforementioned application by the administrative act, ISAPROMA requested from the CDEEE, the reforestation contract to manage and mitigate damage from the coal plants at Punta Catalina, signed between the CDEEE, the Environment Ministry and the Dominican Mahogany Consortium (CONCADOM),” the CNLCC said.

It also requested information on the total budget for the construction of the coal plants and disbursements of the funds for the construction thus far, the source of funding, and the name of the land’s owners.

In an emailed statement, the organization said the CDEEE’s declaration over Punta Catalina as a secretive nature is “extremely serious, because the classification justifies its refusal to let the public know the details of the project, which is under serious suspicion of corruption.”

It adds that the administrative action confirms and reinforces the non-transparent and illegal conduct by the authorities with the recently revealed the scandal of the secret agreement with the company Pinegy Commercial Group, SRL, a company close to the “ring” around president Danilo Medina, to build the a coal plant at Punta Catalina.

“How does the government intend to continue the discussions on the National Electricity Sector Reform Pact when those responsible for the industry, shielded by stealth hide information and documents proving their permanent and blatant violation of the laws and the Constitution of the Republic.”

“Jimenez Bichara’s cynicism is such that it takes INSAPROMA’s purpose of taking the process through legal channels and institutions as a pretext to deny what by law he’s obligated to provide” the organization said.

Source: DT

Feb 5, 2016

Category: DR News |

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Last updated October 24, 2016 at 6:05 PM
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