Residents of Maracas Valley, St Joseph, yesterday expressed outrage over the possibility of another quarry starting operations in their community.
During a consultation on the matter at the Maracas Valley Community Centre, residents vented their anger at the possibility, although a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) has not yet been awarded for any such operation. They said having a second quarry in the area would destroy the environment and interfere with the traffic logistics in the area.
Coosal's Construction already operates a limestone quarry in the community.
President of the Acono Village Dynamic Action Committee (AVDAC), Simeon Nakhid, said Blue Diamond Engineering Ltd wants to establish a limestone quarry at La Caurita Estate, Maracas, St Joseph. Caribbean Quarries Ltd, he said, had also applied for a CEC but was asked to re-apply. This means that there would be two quarries in the area if Blue Diamond Engineering Ltd were to be granted a CEC, Nakhid said.
But Nakhid said residents are against any such operations because the integrity of the road would be destroyed and having a second quarry in the area would also interfere with the traffic logistics there.
"The road is so narrow that a car could barely pass, much less for a truck. There are 22 bridges which have to be built over," he said, adding that when there is no water in the taps residents go to the nearby river and a second quarry in the area would also destroy the natural environment in the community.
In a letter dated June 7, 2016, addressed to Debbie Reyes, study manager at Eco-engineering Consultants Ltd, which is the company working in collaboration with Blue Diamond Engineering Ltd, Nakhid said: "We would like to communicate from the heart of the Acono Community that no good will come of this proposed quarry, nor the quarry proposed by Caribbean Quarries Ltd."
Nakhid, highlighting concerns of the residents, said some of the issues with having a second quarry include increase in noise and dust, decline in public safety, deterioration of water quality, increase in traffic congestion, deteriorating road conditions, loss of aesthetics, even less recreation and disappearance of wildlife.
In that letter, he also suggested that the group might seek legal action.
"Should your client (Blue Diamond Engineering Ltd) decide to proceed after having sight of the community's position and engage you to prepare the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), then be assured that like we did in 2008, we will seek legal advice on your failure to have extended sufficient time for us to meaningfully comment on the Terms of Reference. The EIA, when complete, will also be challenged on the basis of overwhelming negative social and environmental impacts affecting our constitutional rights."