Local May 9, 2012 | 4:14 pm

Official denies southwest beaches’ stones hauled off “by the truckload”

BARAHONA, Dominican Republic. –Barahona province Environment Ministry director Americo Livent denied media reports that as many as 40 flatbed trucks are hauling off river stones once or twice a week from two area beaches, as two conservationists denounced Wednesday.

He said he doesn’t know where the marine biologist Felicita Heredia and Beach Ecosystem Protection Program president Nestor Puente obtained the information published in newspaper El Caribe.

The official said only two truckload of the decorative stones are hauled away twice a week, one each from Bahoruco beach, in La Cienega, and two others from Ojeda beach, at Paraiso, all under an Environment Ministry permit .

“We stress that only two truckloads of that material are gathered, once to twice per week in those beaches, for which the denounced 40 flatbeds one or two days per week doesn’t correspond to the truth,” the official said.

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