Local March 28, 2014 | 11:10 am

Ex official slams Dominican govt. ‘doublespeak’ on power plants

Santo Domingo.- Political leader and former Environment minister Max Puig on Thursday slammed the government’s apparent double-speak on power plants, since on the one hand "definitively bans” a 36.5-megawatt barge in Puerto Plat, since it "would significantly impact the area’s environment in" but steamrolls the construction of two coal-fired plants of 360-megawatt each at Peravia province (south).

He said while Environment minister Bautista Rojas denies a permit to the power barge, at the same time announces support for the coal-fired facility. “These power plants, 20 times larger than the barge at Puerto Plata, don’t have the environmental permit. What’s more, the terms of reference to draft the necessary permit request are unknown and much less the public hearing that should’ve been held at the province where they were supposed to be built.”

“Despite that he has yet to issue the necessary environmental permit according to the law, the Environment Minister has in fact blessed them, justifying them with well poor arguments,” Puig said in an emailed statement.

“The truth is that the coal plants at Punta Catalina, if built, will turn Peravia into a valley of death, ruining the promised tourism development, ruining other productive activities and seriously affecting the health of the inhabitants of Bani.

The also head of the minority opposition APD party said the case of the barge and the plants unmasks the Government ambivalence and contradictions. “In Puerto Plata it supposedly enforced the law to benefit the community, while in Peravia, it blatantly violates it, jeopardizing its inhabitants and those of the entire country.”

“It seems that the law is good for one thing and not another. It’s enforced in the North and ignored in the South. We will never reach good results in this manner.”

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