Not so fast, Dolphin Cove!
THE EDITOR, Sir:
On Friday, August 2, a feature article was published in The Gleaner titled ‘Dolphin Cove headed for the south coast’.
Among other things, it stated that Dolphin Cove had “triumphed in court”, and that “the court decision was in the company’s favour”. Dolphin Cove implied that the court had found that the water was safe for swimming. Stafford Burrowes said: “Having been successful with the case – having the public recognise the fact that although we are in a heavily regulated type of attraction, we are operating correctly, otherwise we would not have been granted permits – it allows us to move forward.”
Such was most definitely not the case.
In our article published by The Gleaner on Thursday, August 1, we stated, regarding our laws, that in Jamaica, we have none that are effective, none that enable a body like the National Environment and Planning Agency to take a stance, and implement regulations. The Supreme Court was not concerned with a lack of comprehensive base data, inadequacies of water quality and circulation studies, or compliance or non-compliance with permit conditions, or the spirit or intent of the laws.
Sworn evidence as to non-compliance was completely ignored, as was the logical necessity in this instance (in a Special Fisheries Conservation Area which is an enclosed lagoon with limited water exchange to the open sea) of an environmental impact assessment, or the intent of existing policies and regulations. They were only concerned with precedent, and that the law, as it stands, had been complied with and, therefore, refused permission for a judicial review.
As you may see, the issues that Dolphin Cove speak of were not addressed by the court.