ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

The property selected for the mega hotel and casino is environmentally sensitive. It is less than 500 meters from the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve, the eastern half of the property is occupied by wetlands, and the southern boundary of the property is a creek that carries all runoff from the property to the ocean, including many bathing beaches.

Illegal and unpermitted earth movements in the property, in violation of local and federal laws, have buried most of the wetland under six to eight feet of fill, burying a healthy community of land crabs during their reproductive season, in which capture of land crabs is prohibited.

In spite of these violations and the presence of sensitive environmental resources nearby, Puerto Rico’s permits office (Oficina de Gerencia y Permisos, OGPe), has approved environmental impact evaluation via an Environmental Recommendation, which is less strict that what should be done, a full Environmental Impact Assessment, which in Puerto Rico requires public hearings.