Amador landfill uses sand from Chame and the Pearl Islands

Environmentalist ask what effects underwater exploitation for sand in Bay of Chame, the Las Perlas and Parita Bay might have as the environmental impact study for the Amador landfill is reviewed.

The environmental impact study of the 50-hectare landfill project on the Amador causeway details that the area of ​​"direct influence" of the landfill is 156 hectares, while the area of ​​"indirect influence" at 389 hectares.

According to the document, the purpose of the fill, which will be sand taken from other areas of Panama, is to provide a platform for the implementation of structures on land, such as buildings, parking lots, beach areas, marinas, among other facilities. 

According to the environmental study, the sand that will be use in for the fill will be obtained via underwater exploitation in four areas: two points in Chame, the Peal Islands and Parita Bay.

The study proposes that the project requires 4.5 million cubic meters of sand and that the sand will be transported by barge, without affecting the operation of the Panama Canal.

Enrique Castillo, director of the metropolitan region of the ministy of environment issued a technial preoprt April 22, stating that one of the sites indicated for sand extraction was delcared a Special Marine-Costal Management Zone, which grants specific protections that must be considered.

Environmentalists like biologist Isaías Ramos Center for Environmental Advocacy, expressed their concern explaining "the impact of projects of this type go beyond the physical location."

The sand is being "brought from ecologically fragile sites, such as Chame Bay and the Pearl Archipelago," he said.

The Environment Minister, Milciades Concepción, said that "soon" there will be a final decision on the study, and if it does not comply with the regulations, it will be rejected.

The project will be called Amador Maritime Development and its promoter is L.G.S. Panama Tourism Development.

Source: La Prensa