Land reclamation behind BBW was already underway in 2007

POSTED: 11/29/10 2:06 AM


St. Maarten – The illegal land reclamation behind the old location of the BBW cement factory was already well underway in 2007. Former prosecutor Paul Mooij made an aerial picture of the site available to this newspaper that shows the situation on November 4 of that year.
In the meantime, a larger part of the St. Maarten Great Salt Pond on this location has been filled, as we reported on Saturday.
The 2007 picture that illustrates this article shows clearly that a complete wall of a salt pan has disappeared. The two long and narrow buildings on the right hand side in the picture are the old location of TelEm.
The structure that stands at a 90 degree angle of these buildings is the old location of the BBW cement factory.
To the left is an inlet that separates that BBW-terrain from that of its neighbor. The inlet is not there anymore – it has been filled in.
The straight lines that run from the left hand side of the picture towards the bank of the Great Salt Pond are walls of salt pans. They are protected monuments.
The wall that runs at a right buy generic valium 10mg angle towards the BBW-terrain has completely disappeared, proof that since 2007 new illegal land reclamation has taken place on this location.
The picture is part of an aerial survey the Public Prosecutor’s Office conducted in 2007 to establish the extent of environmental violations around the Great Salt Pond.
Former prosecutor Mooij noted that not much has changed in the field of the environment since he left the island. “If they had been serious about it, I would have loved to stay to tackle the enforcement of the law.”
Mooij said that the prosecutor’s office is “not interested” in the subject.
In 2007, Mooij wanted the cooperation of St. Maarten Domain Affairs to investigate the permits issued to renters of domain property. “Those permits usually contain a condition for the use of the land,” he wrote to this newspaper.
Mooij did not get the cooperation he wanted from Domain Affairs, because the department suffered from a well-known phenomenon: staff shortage. Mooij said that the environmental laws that regulate activities around the pond are not up to scratch and that there also was a legal problem with the land reclamation.
Story by Hilbert Haar

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